EXCLUSIVE: A June 1 start date has been set in Los Angeles for The Pretty One, with Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson starring in a script that made the 2011 Black List and was a finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship and Zoetrope screenplay contest. Jenee LaMarque wrote the script and makes her directorial debut. Pic is an offbeat comedy about an awkward but loveable young woman who is mistaken for her dead “perfect” identical twin, and seizes the chance to masquerade as her sister. But when she falls in love with her twin’s eccentric next door neighbor, she finds herself wanting to live her own imperfect life, and have the truth come out. The film’s being financed by private equity.
Kazan’s starring in the Neil LaBute-scripted Some Girls and the Joss Whedon-scripted In Your Eyes, and she scripted He Loves Me, which Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris are directing. Kazan stars with Paul Dano. Johnson is one of the stars of the Fox hit series The New Girl, opposite Zooey Deschanel and was also just seen in 21 Jump Street and most recently completed Safety Not Guaranteed, which FilmDistrict bought after its Sundance premiere in January.
The Pretty One‘s being produced by Robin Schorr and is the first film in production from her RCR Pictures banner. She produces with Steven J. Berger’s Provenance Pictures. LaMarque’s repped by UTA and Management 360, Kazan by Gersh and Johnson by UTA and 3 Arts.
Jeremy Jordan, who is getting raves for the Broadway show Newsies, has signed with ICM. All the agencies were after the young actor, who plays Jack Kelly, the role that Christian Bale originated in the film. Jordan previously starred in … Read More »
Human Centipede 3‘s June start has been imperiled by threats of litigation between director Tom Six and Dieter Laser, the villain from the first film who had agreed to return for the third film but is now backing out. If this goes to the courts, it is possible it … Read More »
UPDATE, 8:56 AM FRIDAY: Today’s press conference will be live-streamed at sagaftra.org.
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM: SAG national president Ken Howard, AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon, SAG secretary-treasurer Amy Aquino, AFTRA treasurer Matt Kimbrough, SAG 1st national … Read More »
A slate of documentaries are part of this weekend’s specialty offerings including The Weinstein Company’s high-profile Bully, which should garner some decent box office cha-ching based on publicity alone due to its fight to reverse an R rating from the MPAA. But before it was in the media spotlight, its filmmaker struggled to make the feature much like most indie directors. New Yorker Films is also utilizing school-yard teasing as one way to spread the word about its controversial Norwegian feature Turn Me On, Dammit! Samuel Goldwyn Films is hoping to replicate one of its past successes by keeping the focus on its main subject for its rollout The Island President. And filmmaker Alan Govenar happened upon a low-profile center of Beat culture in Paris, taking what was originally intended to be a short film about the topic and turned it into a full feature in The Beat Hotel. Read More »
UPDATE, 11:05 AM: AOL changed its mind and just released a statement in response to this morning’s letter from Starboard Value’s Jeffrey Smith. Looks like Moviefone and MapQuest won’t be shopped around: “We are continuing to work on the comeback of AOL and have a plan that is beneficial for employees, customers and shareholders. We believe strongly that all of our brands are important to our brand portfolio. We will continue to update investors as we execute on our plan.”
PREVIOUS, 8:49 AM: AOL isn’t commenting this morning on the latest missive from activist investor Jeffrey Smith, who says that the Internet content and access company has failed to deliver for shareholders. Smith’s Starboard Value owns 5.2% of AOL — and he’s proposing a slate of five candidates, including himself, for its board. Today he kept the pressure on with a public letter to directors urging them to stop postponing the company’s annual meeting, and to unload underperforming properties including Moviefone and MapQuest. AOL paid $525M for Moviefone and $1.1B for MapQuest in 1999. ”These prices are likely well in excess of the current market value of these assets,” Smith said so a sale could generate Net Operating Losses that AOL could use to reduce its taxes. He also applauded reports that AOL has hired Evercore Partners to explore the possibility of selling the company’s portfolio of patents for Internet processes in areas including e-commerce, travel navigation, and search-related advertising. CEO Tim Armstrong has likened them to “beachfront property in East Hampton.” But Smith says the company should treat a potential sale with “a sense of urgency due to the relatively short remaining lives of some of the material patents.”
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The TV comedy resurgence cannot come soon enough for the Los Angeles production community because Hollywood is fast losing ground on the drama side to New York and Vancouver. New York State’s August 2010 decision to extend and expand its Film Production Tax Credit Program continues to pay dividends in TV in a big way. A record 11 broadcast drama pilots are shooting in New York this season, up from 9 last year and 0 the year before, just before the tax credit vote. For the first time this year New York eclipsed traditional location leader, Los Angeles, in the number of drama broadcast pilot shoots. What’s more, Los Angeles fell from first to third place with 8 of the 41 drama pilots shot here. That is down from 11 (out of 42) last year and 14 (out of 43) the year before.
The biggest gainer this year is Vancouver, which shot up to second place with 9 pilots, doubling its tally of 4.5 last year (Production of Fox’s Alcatraz was split between Vancouver and San Francisco). While currency exchange rate with Canada is still not as favorable as it was 3 years ago, it is a fraction better than last season. And filming in Vancouver is still a bargain compared to the U.S. Additionally, with so much production going on, there are experienced crews, Vancouver can relatively easily stand in for many locations in the U.S. and it shares a time zone with Los Angeles, making communication simple. Overall, runaway production accelerated this year with a total of 11 broadcast pilots filmed in Canada: 9 in Vancouver and one each in Toronto (CW’s Beauty And The Beast) and Montreal (ABC’s Zero Hour). That is almost double the 6 pilots shot north of the border last year. Additionally, NBC’s Frontier is being filmed in Australia. Read More »
MTV has ordered new seasons of veteran reality franchises The Challenge and The Real World. The Challenge has been renewed for a 23rd season, The Real World for 28th. Both hail from Bunim/Murray. The most recent Challenge: Battle of the … Read More »
The BBC has picked up the gauntlet that News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch threw down this week when his company charged that the broadcaster used manipulated emails in a critical documentary broadcast on Monday. A BBC1 show, Panorama, said that News Corp and a video software and content security provider it has controlled, NDS, illegally helped to sabotage Murdoch’s pay TV rivals. ”We stand by the Panorama investigation,” the BBC says in a statement. The emails cited in the program “were not manipulated, as NDS claims” and nothing in the company’s letter to the BBC demanding a retraction “undermines the evidence presented in the program.” Panorama and a separate report by the Australian Financial Review revived this week long-simmering allegations that NDS helped to crack encryption codes used by satellite and pay TV companies that competed with Murdoch-controlled services including UK’s Sky. The data found its way to the Internet, enabling consumers to easily pirate the TV services — and undermine the businesses. For example, the BBC show reported that security codes for ITV’s ONdigital TV smart cards were hacked as far back as 1998 contributing to its demise in 2002. Read More »
It was hailed as a potential successor to Desperate Housewives and was launched behind the departing veteran dramedy. Now ABC’s midseason dramedy GCB will test drive Housewives‘ Sunday 9 PM time slot. On April 8, ABC … Read More »
Word around town is that Sony Pictures has paid $3 million for White House Down, an action drama spec script by James Vanderbilt, the scribe behind the studio’s summer tentpole The Amazing Spider-Man. Can’t think of a spec that sold for more this year. The film will be produced by … Read More »
With two upcoming high-profile roles — in Snow White And The Huntsman, due on June 1, and Prometheus, due one week later — Charlize Theron is being honored in Las Vegas by CinemaCon with … Read More »
Two weeks ago, Disney and DreamWorks announced a new title and a release date for the project once known as Welcome to People – it’s now known as People Like Us and is due to be released June 29. Now, three months before the film’s planned release, the … Read More »
With franchise fever heavy in the air after last weekend’s The Hunger Games opening and the big auction for Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m hearing that Screen Gems is closing a deal to partner with Constantin on the live action … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Setting the leads for Arthur & Lancelot is proving as elusive as pulling the sword from the stone. Colin Farrell, who’d been in early talks to play Lancelot in the latest configuration of the David Dobkin-directed film for … Read More »
Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) and the National Film Board of Canada are going to have to make do with 10% less. That’s the amount Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s budget cut Tuesday from the public broadcaster and the documentary agency. The CBC will lose $115 million, in Canadian dollars, from the $1.1 billion it currently receives from the Canadian government. Telefilm Canada will also see a 10% reduction in its budget.
The initial CBC cuts will take place over two years, with $27.8 million lost in 2012-2013 and then $69.9 million in 2013-2014. After 2014, $115 million will come out the broadcaster’s annual taxpayer subsidy. Government funding currently makes up 60% of the CBC’s overall revenue.
The NFB will lose $6.7 million a year until 2015. Telefilm Canada will lose $10.6 million.
While he made no reference to the CBC or NFB cuts in his budget speech, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty did say that, in aiming for a balanced budget by 2016, “we will implement moderate restraint in government spending.” The government is cutting $5.2 billion annually overall from its current expenditures of $276.1 billion.
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EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush are closing a deal to acquire the rights to the international bestselling novel Syndrome E. Originally published in France, the Franck Thilliez novel is the first in a series, and it will be released … Read More »
The upcoming Charlie Sheen comedy series Anger Management was understandably a focal point at FX’s upfront event in New York today. Despite some of Sheen’s X-Rated off-screen antics and the racy content on most of FX’s other comedy series, including … Read More »
Bloomberg is reporting that Dolby Laboratories is in naming-rights talks with owners of the venue formerly known as the Kodak Theatre. Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January and was only halfway through a 20-year rights deal when … Read More »