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Scott Rudin Moves Deal To Sony Pictures In 3-Year Pact

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 12:52pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: I’m told that producer Scott Rudin’s move to Sony Pictures is upon us. He’s closed a three-year first look deal with the studio. From last year’s Best Picture nominee The Social Network to the upcoming Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball and the David Fincher-directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, to the upcoming Somali Pirates Tom Hanks-starrer A Captain’s Duty that will be directed by Paul Greengrass and Cleopatra with Fincher directing Angelina Jolie starring, Rudin is already in the middle of some of Amy Pascal’s most ambitious projects.

Rudin’s deal has been at Disney for several years but it was settled out. It became clear his films didn’t fit into the family film profile that the studio was pursuing under Rich Ross and Sean Bailey. When Disney sold Miramax Films, Rudin began making movies all over town.  Now Rudin, who just won the Tony Award for Best Musical for The Book Of Mormon, has a new home. He’ll remain in his New York offices, but the deal gives him the latitude to continue to buy material as aggressively as he is accustomed to being. He’s known for moving quickly in that regard, often buying literary properties when they are in the most nascent stages if he believes in the authors.

It has been clear for some time this move would be happening. Deadline told you in February that Rudin had streamlined his operation and shuttered his Los Angeles office, content to … Read More »

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Juli Goodwin Upped To Exec Veep Domestic Publicity At Warner Bros Pictures

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 12:51pm PDT

BURBANK, CA, June 30, 2011 – Juli Goodwin has been promoted to Executive Vice President Domestic Publicity for Warner Bros. Pictures, it was announced today by Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing.

As the head of the domestic publicity department, Goodwin will continue to oversee the creation and implementation of publicity campaigns, encompassing national and field publicity, special events and promotions, and liaising with filmmakers, talent, and other marketing executives in support of the studio’s wide-ranging slate. She reports directly to Kroll, who stated, “Juli is an invaluable member of our marketing group. She is a smart and inventive thinker, whose sharp, strategic instincts and great perspective are always key in helping to shape our campaigns.”

Read More »

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Final ‘All My Children’ Episode: Sept. 23

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 12:48pm PDT

ABC said today that it has set the final broadcast of All My Children for Friday, Sept. 23, officially ending a run that began more than 41 years ago. The multiple-Emmy-winning soap opera first appeared on the network in 1970. “Out of love and respect for the show, many beloved actors will be returning to Pine Valley, including Josh Duhamel (Leo Du Pres), Eva La Rue (Maria Santos), Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater), Carol Burnett (Verla Grubbs), Kate Collins (Janet Green), Jennifer Bassey (Marion Chandler), Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Chandler) and Leven Rambin (Lily Montgomery), among others yet to be announced,” the network said in its release announcing the end date. ABC will launch one of its replacements, lifestyle series The Chew, on Sept. 26 at 1 PM ET.

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FRONS SPEAKS: ABC Daytime Chief Explains Why ‘AMC’ & ‘OLTL’ Were Axed; Says ‘GH’ Is “Safe For Time Being”
ABC DAYTIME SHAKEUP: Network Cancels BOTH ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live,’ Replaces Them With Lifestyle Series

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UPDATE: Anna Kendrick Joins Brooklyn Decker For Lionsgate’s ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’

UPDATE, 5:30 PM: Lionsgate announced that Up in the Air co-star Anna Kendrick also has been added to the cast of the film. The CAA-repped actress will play a Rosie, who reunites with an old flame and fellow food-truck owner and becomes pregnant.
PREVIOUS, 11:53 AM: Brooklyn Decker has been cast to star alongside Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez in Lionsgate’s film adaptation of the bestseller What To Expect When You’re Expecting. The Kirk Jones-directed romantic comedy is set to begin shooting this summer ahead of a May 11, 2012 release. Decker, repped by Gersh and Marilyn Talent, is a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who made her feature debut in this year’s Just Go WIth It. She also will appear in Universal’s Battleship. In the ensemble What To Expect, she will play the perky wife of a much older man who sails through her pregnancy with twins, much to the consternation of her friends.

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UPDATE: All Four Judges Returning To NBC’s ‘The Voice’ After Finale Soars In Ratings

UPDATE, 11:35 AM: NBC has just confirmed that all four judges on The Voice — Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton — will return when the series resumes in midseason Mondays at 8 PM. “Our fantastic coaches were integral to the tremendous success of The Voice this year, and we are thrilled that they are all returning,” said Paul Telegdy Alternative Programming at NBC and Universal Media Studios. “We look forward to building Season 2 and making The Voice an even greater experience for fans.”
PREVIOUS, 11:33 AM: The Season 1 finale of NBC’s musical competition series The Voice last night drew 10.8 million viewers and a 3.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, the network’s highest non-sports demo number in the time period since January 2008 and largest overall viewership in nine months. That’s a pretty nice closing number for the series, which has been one of the lone bright spots on NBC’s schedule as it tries to dig out of a primetime ratings slump under new entertainment boss Bob Greenblatt. (On the finale, coach Adam Levine’s singer Javier Colon won the grand prize: $100,000 and a recording contract.) The showing helped as a lead-in for America’s Got Talent, which nabbed a season-high 4.0 in the demo. Both shows helped NBC easily win the night in viewers and the demo. Meanwhile, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance landed a 1.9 rating, … Read More »

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MGM Inks Deal With Distributor Forum Film For Overseas Markets

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 11:02am PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 30, 2011) –- MGM announced today that it has signed a long-term distribution agreement with Forum Film, the distribution arm of Cinema City International NV (CCI). The deal covers Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Israel and includes both theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray Disc rights. For certain titles, Forum will also cover the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the studio. The pact includes new releases over a five-year period, as well as both of the highly anticipated upcoming two “Hobbit” films (set for release in 2012 and 2013) and the next film in the long running “Bond” franchise, “Bond 23” (due November 9, 2012). MGM and Forum look forward to distributing “Bond 24” on a similar basis.

“Our relationship with Gary and Roger goes far back and I’m very proud that they have chosen us to be their distributors in ‘our’ markets” said Mooky Greidinger CEO of Cinema City International. “Starting a long term distribution agreement with such an amazing slate is very exciting and everyone in our team is fully committed to maximize the potential of the movies”

“We feel very fortunate to be able to continue our relationship with Mooky and Forum Film. We know that with Forum and all of the resources they have amassed, our films will be in the best hands possible in all of these important territories,” said Barber and Birnbaum, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officers of MGM.

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Universal And Gold Circle Acquire Rights To Musical Comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 10:57am PDT

Universal and Gold Circle Films have announced that they teamed to acquire worldwide rights to Pitch Perfect, a musical comedy set in the world of college a cappella groups. Jason Moore will direct from a screenplay by Kay Cannon based on Mickey Rapkin’s nonfiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Gold Circle will finance the project and produce it with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions. Moore, who has directed numerous TV episodes and Shrek the Musical and Avenue Q on Broadway, is repped by WME; Cannon, who has written several episodes of 30 Rock, is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

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UK Ready To Clear News Corp’s Long-In-Works Takeover Of BSkyB

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is one step closer in its long regulatory fight to take control of British Sky Broadcasting, with UK Culture Secretary telling the House of Commons today that he is ready to approve the merger. He did say he would give opponents of the tie-up a week to raise final objections over the deal, which critics have said threatens diversity in the news marketplace (News Corp arm News International publishes The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the News of the World newspapers in the UK). Hunt said that he has received concessions from News Corp recently that address those fears. (Meanwhile, opponents have questioned Murdoch’s influence over Hunt, the Financial Times said.) Already, the National Union of Journalists has organized a demonstration for today with other guilds and unions outside the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in London. ”Rupert Murdoch’s profit-at-all costs philosophy forces too many journalists to cut corners, compromise professional standards and set aside ethical conduct for fear of failing to deliver the sales demanded by executives,” said NUJ secretary Jeremy Dear. “This model of journalism is not in the public interest — it serves only the accountants.”

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Mark Halperin Suspended By MSNBC For Calling President Obama “Kind Of A Dick”

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 9:45am PDT

UPDATE: Don’t look for Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin to appear on another news show right away now that he’s been suspended by MSNBC. We’re told that the suspension does not let him out of his contract which precludes him from appearing on another news network during its duration. MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Halperin on his cell phone shortly after the end of Morning Joe this morning to inform him of the decision to suspend him. Griffin told Halperin what MSNBC intended to say in a statement. Halperin immediately agreed and said that he wanted to make a statement as well.

Time Magazine has just issued a statement upbrading its Editor at Large. The magazine says his “comments on air this morning were inappropriate and in no way reflective of Time’s views. We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable. Mark has appropriately apologized on air, via Twitter and on The Page.” Halperin added that his remark “was not funny. I deeply regret it.”

PREVIOUS, 9:07 AM: MSNBC has suspended political analyst and contributor Mark Halperin indefinitely for a slur he made today on Morning Joe describing President Obama. During a discussion of the president’s Wednesday press conference, Halperin, also an editor at large for Time magazine and co-author of Game Change, was asked by host Joe Scarborough what he thought of the president’s performance during the press conference. “Are we on a seven-second delay today?” Halperin asked. “I want to characterize how I thought the president behaved.” After assurances that there was a delay, he said: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.” Read More »

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Picture If You Will, A Movie About Rod Serling

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 9:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Meieran and his Bureau of Moving Pictures has acquired rights to make a movie about Rod Serling, the Twilight Zone creator who left behind a remarkable legacy of sci-fi and fantasy work. Stanley Weiser, who wrote Wall Street with Oliver Stone, will script the movie. Serling’s widow Carol Serling will be a producer along with Meieran.

Before he became an iconic TV figure, Serling had a life of struggle that included a stint as a paratrooper and member of the demolition squad in the Army during WWII. Stationed in the Philippines, he saw more than his share of death as the US battled the Japanese, and his experiences would inform much of what he would write later. He worked his way into radio and then became a TV writer who found his niche with the CBS series Twilight Zone, a series that elevated scripted television with thought-provoking science fiction tales, each with a great and unexpected plot twist. The segments have influenced a legion of TV and feature writers to this day.  If you don’t understand the reference “It’s a cook book!,” you could do worse than go back and watch the original episodes.

Serling hatched another memorable TV anthology series a decade later in Night Gallery. Movies were made from both series, there’s a lively Tower Of Terror theme-park ride that incorporates Serling and a haunted hotel, and Serling also co-wrote with Michael Wilson the script for the 1968 sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes, based on the Pierre Boull novel. Serling died at 50, from complications stemming from chain-smoking cigarettes his entire adult life. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’

Mike Fleming

There’s a new trailer up for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre espionage novel. The film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciaran Hinds. Oldman unbelievably has managed to exist as one of the most consistently great actors, without being nominated for an Oscar. From what I’ve heard, his performance in this movie provides Oldman with his strongest chance to be a serious contender to put a trophy on his mantel. Focus Features releases the film in the US on Nov. 18.

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Village Voice Prepares For A Strike As Management Seeks Benefits Concessions

NYC may lose one of its most influential movie-reviewing sites. At midnight tonight, The Village Voice employees’ three-year contract at New York’s venerable alternative weekly newspaper expires, and they’ve authorized their union to call a strike if there’s no agreement. Writers and editors and reviewers have set up a Web site, The Real Voice, where they’ll run their work if there’s a walkout. The biggest disagreement involves cuts in health and retirement benefits proposed by the paper’s owner, Village Voice Media. The UAW Local 210, which represents the employees, says that “the union membership sees the quality of their medical coverage as the critical issue.” Employees also authorized strikes in 2005 and 2008 but agreed on new terms at the last minute.

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FilmDistrict Near U.S. Distribution Deal For Ryan Gosling-Nic Refn ‘Only God Forgives’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a low-seven-figure minimum guarantee deal, FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. rights to Only God Forgives, a drama that will reteam Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn with Ryan Gosling. Several distributors were in the mix, but FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel had an edge because Refn was pleased with the way FilmDistrict’s Bob Berney has set up the marketing for Drive. That film, which stars Gosling as a stunt driver who moonlights as the wheel man for a heist crew, played the Cannes Film Festival and drew raves. It will be released Sept. 16. Funded by Wild Bunch, Only God Forgives will shoot in late summer in Thailand, with Gosling playing a guy on the run from British police. He runs a Thai boxing club in Bangkok that is a front for a drug-smuggling operation. He winds up getting in the ring for a shot at redemption. Buyers this week read a script and started making offers this week. Gosling is next starring for his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in A Place Beyond the Pines and he’s also starring with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Anthony Mackie in the Ruben Fleischer-directed Gangster Squad for Warner Bros. He’s also set to star for Refn in a remake of Logan’s Run at Warner Bros, where he’ll next be seen starring with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

It is another … Read More »

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NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Votes Its Winner (Spoiler)

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 6:33pm PDT

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!

It’s the heavily hyped show that rewrote the rules for TV talent contests on the networks this spring. But it also cost a whopping $1.4 million per episode. (NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Carries Sky High Pricetag) So we’d be remiss not to tell you that coach Adam Levine’s 33-year-old singer Javier Colon received more votes than the three other finalists tonight and won NBC’s The Voice for $100,000 and a recording contract. Host Carson Daly said Colon received less than 2% more votes than first runner-up Dia Frampton and also beat Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez after 10 weeks of competition, including blind auditions and battle rounds.

Colon, an experienced singer and songwriter from Connecticut with Dominican and Puerto Rican parents, belonged to EmcQ and The Derek Trucks Band before going solo. At one point he was signed to Capitol Records. He will now join the seven runners-up on a summer concert tour for The Voice that won’t include the four coach/judges: Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Levine. Based on Holland’s reality singing competition and created by Dutch television producer John de Mol, The Voice has been the most successful show for the hit-starved NBC in a very long time, and the network is wasting no time getting started on Season 2 by casting beginning now for Spring 2012.

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Universal Makes First-Look Deal With Jason Blum Of ‘Paranormal Activity’ And ‘Insidious’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum will bring the studio into the low-budget but often high-gross world of genre films. Universal Pictures has made a 3-year first-look deal with Blum and his Blumhouse Productions which produced the Paranormal Activity franchise, and followed that up with Insidious, the James Wan-directed thriller that has already become one of the most profitable films of 2011. A sequel seems inevitable.

The original Paranormal Activity cost about $15,000 and grossed $193 million. The first sequel cost $3 million and grossed $177 million worldwide and the third film debuts Oct. 21. Insidious cost $1.5 million and grossed $81 million worldwide and is still rolling out. This guy is minting money. He’s producing the latest installment of the fright franchise Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes for Dimension Films, produced the Barry Levinson-directed eco-horror film The Bay, The River for ABC and the Jay Chandresakar-directed comedy Baby Makers. He is producing the Oren Peli-directed Area 51 for Paramount Pictures, as well as The Lords of Salem, with Rob Zombie directing. Blum’s also an exec producer on the John Hillcoat-directed The Wettest County in the World. This amounts to an aggressive move into the low-budget area for Universal, which, if anything, is known for spending generously on its slates. Read More »

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Diablo Cody Makes Directing Debut On ‘Lamb Of God’ For Mandate

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 4:06pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Mandate Pictures has acquired Lamb of God, a script by Juno scribe Diablo Cody that will mark her feature directorial debut. Mason Novick (500 Days Of Summer) will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside Cody. Mandate has the project on the fast track and will begin casting right away. The comedy follows a young conservative religious woman who loses her faith after a plane crash. She decides to go to Vegas and live the life of a sinner, and somehow finds her faith along the way. Cody was a stripper who started a blog and found a voice as a screenwriter, which led to her breakout effort in writing Juno and emerging as a quite interesting screenwriting voice. She followed with Jennifer’s Body, a movie that didn’t hit, and most recently reteamed with Juno helmer Jason Reitman on Young Adult. Read More »

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Lionsgate Restructures Film PR Unit, Adds Disney Exec Jennifer Peterson

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 4:04pm PDT

Lionsgate is reorganizing its Theatrical Publicity department under EVP Theatrical Publicity Julie Fontaine, whom the studio scooped up from Disney back in March. Under the new structure, films on Lionsgate’s slate will be divided between two project teams to drive all PR initiatives. One of those teams will be led by VP National Publicity Jennifer Peterson, who has just joined the company from Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Marketing, where she had worked since 2001 shepherding domestic PR on such films as Alice In Wonderland and Toy Story 3. The other team will be led by newly promoted VP National Publicity Jamie Blois, previously Executive Director of National Publicity and a key part of the strategy for the studio’s Tyler Perry franchise. Todd Nickels will continue to spearhead Lionsgate’s New York-based theatrical publicity as SVP National Publicity and will work with both teams.

Corporate PR initiatives will be overseen by Fontaine and managed by former VP National Publicity Kate Hubin Piliero, who has been upped to VP Corporate Communications for the film division. Matthew Clasby has been tapped as VP Theatrical Promotions and will oversee publicity-driven promotions, special events, trade shows and conventions. Aubrey McClure will continue in her role as SVP Promotions, Licensing and Merchandising.

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Warner Bros Eyes October Release For ‘J Edgar’, December Bow For ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 4:03pm PDT

Warner Bros today said that it will release the Clint Eastwood biopic J Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer, sometime in October. The studio also said it will bow Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close sometime in December; that drama stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Exact dates have not been announced. The news does ensure that both films will be on screens right in the middle of awards season.

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UPDATE: Justin Timberlake Will Take Stake In MySpace After News Corp Sells Site For $30M-$40M To Specific Media

By | Wednesday June 29, 2011 @ 3:16pm PDT

UPDATE: 3:16 PM: The official release from new MySpace owner Specific Media had an interesting bit of news in it: Justin Timberlake will take an ownership stake in the social-media site “and play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward.” It’s unknown how much he is investing in the deal, in which seller News Corp receives a minority equity stake in Specific, but it makes sense in that MySpace had become a de facto music promotions site since being essentially left in the dust by Facebook. Specific Media and Timberlake say they plan to evolve Myspace into the premiere digital destination for original shows, video content and music. ”There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place,” Timberlake says in the release. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”

PREVIOUS, 11:47 AM: It was such huge news back in 2005 when News Corp plunked down $580 million for the web’s hottest social-networking site MySpace. It makes today’s news maybe even bigger: News Corp has agreed to sell the site to ad-targeting firm Specific Media for $30 million-$40 million, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, well below its $100 million asking price. Read More »

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