EXCLUSIVE: There has been a change in the CW‘s plans for The Flash. Originally, the character, played by Grant Gustin, was supposed to appear in three episodes of Arrow this season — No. 8, No. 9 and No. 20, the last one serving as a backdoor pilot directed by David Nutter. Episodes 8 and 9, in which the superhero is introduced only as his alter ego Barry Allen, have already been shot. But now the CW has opted to film a traditional stand-alone Flash pilot instead of doing a backdoor pilot as Arrow‘s Episode 20. With Episodes 8 and 9 serving as an origin story, the plan was for The Flash character to make his debut — red costume and all — in Arrow‘s Episode 20. He will now do it in the pilot. The creative team remains the same, with Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and series scribe Geoff Johns writing the pilot and Nutter, who helmed the pilot for Arrow, directing. Berlanti, Kreisberg and Nutter executive produce, with Melissa Kellner Berman co-executive producing. Read More »
MSNBC has been in talks with the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (or Frank Sinatra?) for months, and today network president Phil Griffin said Ronan Farrow will host a weekday one-hour program beginning in early 2014. It comes after the launch last week of another news program with Hollywood ties, the Alec Baldwin-hosted Up Late With Alec Baldwin. No other details were provided, not even mentioning his folks, though that may have more to do with Mia Farrow having recently told Vanity Fair mag Sinatra, to whom she was married for 18 months and from whom, she said, she “never really split up” might “possibly” be Ronan’s father. In response to which Ronan, 25, tweeted, like the diplomat he is, “Listen, we’re all *possibly* Frank Sinatra’s son.” Anyway, the network thinks that the 25-year-old Farrow, a writer and human rights lawyer, will be able to stand on his own: A Rhodes Scholar, he most recently was a foreign policy official in the first Obama administration, founded the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues, and he served for two years as a U.S. diplomat focused on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also has written on human rights and foreign policy issues for the … Read More »
20th Century Fox is gathering steam on the reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four that will be helmed by Chronicle director Josh Trank. It has long been rumored that Fruitvale Station‘s Michael B. Jordan is likely to play the flammable Johnny “Human Torch” Storm, and the names I’m hearing for the flexible genius Reed Richards are Jack O’Connell (he’s playing Lou Zamperini in Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken), Divergent‘s Miles Teller, and Game Of Thrones‘ Kit Harington. For the role of Sue Storm, the names are The Host’s Saoirse Ronan, 127 Hours‘ Kate Mara and The Wolf Of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie. No decisions have been made yet, per the studio. Simon Kinberg is doing a rewrite. Stay tuned.
NBC continues to open its doors to suppliers outside of the traditional Hollywood studio system. The network has given an off-cycle pilot order to Odyssey, a global conspiracy thriller drama from ProSiebenSat.1′s Red Arrow Entertainment Group. Produced by the group’s London-based Red Arrow Entertainment, LA-based Fabrik Entertainment and Universal TV, Odyssey is described as a Traffic-like thriller centered on three families whose lives are torn apart when a stranded female soldier, a disillusioned corporate attorney and a disrespected political activist are pulled into the same shocking international military conspiracy. The pilot, which was developed at Red Arrow, is executive produced by Adam Armus & Kay Foster (The Following) and Peter Horton, who co-wrote the script together; Red Arrow’s Head of Scripted, Simon Maxwell; and Fabrik’s Mikkel Bondesen, Kristen Campo, and Henrik Bastin. Horton is set to direct.
EXCLUSIVE: Back on dry ground after helming the Biblical film Noah, Darren Aronofsky is looking for what’s next. I’d been hearing rumblings he is interested in a George Washington project, but here’s a fresh deal in the works. Aronofsky is in early talks to develop to direct Red Sparrow, an adaptation of the Jason Matthews espionage novel. 20th Century Fox bought the book in a 7-figure deal after a spirited bidding battle involving multiple studios back in April for Film Rites‘ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch to produce with Chernin Entertainment. The book was published in June by Scribner.
The book is set in contemporary Russia, and state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers collide in a charged atmosphere of trade craft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow. Dominika winds up seeking revenge against her soulless masters, and living a fatal double life after she is recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington. She also hunts down a Russian illegal … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: The Flash will appear in three episodes of the CW‘s Arrow this coming season before headlining his own spinoff series. The information was shared this afternoon by the three writers – Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and series scribe Geoff Johns — behind the Flash project. an origin story of Flash’s Barry Allen identity. The episodes, No. 8, No. 9 and No. 20, will be penned by the trio, with David Nutter, who helmed the Arrow pilot, committed to directing Episode 20. Kriesberg also confirmed during the conference call today that the actor who portrays Barry Allen will play him as “an ordinary man” when viewers meet him in Episode 8. “The character will be as grounded and realistic as possible,” he said. “That’s how we’ll get to know him. Then his life will get a bit faster.” He added that the surrounding characters in Arrow will react to Allen “in a very realistic way,” noting that they “won’t be treated as commonplace on the show but as extraordinary events.” Kreisberg added: “It will be fun for the audience to see how we do our take on The Flash’s powers. Some will feel very familiar to those who know the comics, and other stuff will feel different yet fresh and exciting.” Berlanti noted, “That said, he does need powers to become The Flash. And he will be The Flash. He will wear a red costume, and he will go by that name.”
Related: CW Eyes ‘Flash’ Series With ‘Arrow’s Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & David Nutter Read More »
UPDATE, 9 AM: During the CW executive session, the network’s topper Mark Pedowitz gave more details about The Flash project. It will be the origin story of Barry Allen who will be introduced as a recurring character on Arrow this coming season starting in the fall. “We want to expand the DC universe of characters,” he said. As for how the project came together, Pedowitz said he late last year brought up the idea to DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson who turns out had already been discussing it with WBTV’s Peter Roth and producer Greg Berlanti. Pedowitz also confirmed that “Amazon is on pause (as) the script is not exactly what we wanted, and with an iconic character like Wonder Woman, we have to get it right.”
Related: The Flash Will Be Introduced In 3 ‘Arrow’ Episodes, Will Start Off As “Ordinary Man”
EXCLUSIVE 7 AM: Another DC Comics male superhero is looking to join the CW’s lineup. I’ve learned that the network is fast tracking Flash, a drama project based on the DC character from the Arrow team of co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter. The CW is expected to discuss the project at today’s TCA presentation. I hear there is an idea is to introduce The Flash on Arrow next season before spinning it off into its own series. I hear Flash will be written by Berlanti, Kreisberg and DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns who also has written for Arrow. Nutter, who helmed the Arrow pilot, will direct the potential pilot, while Berlanti and Kreisberg are expected to run the potential series. Marc Guggenheim, who developed and executive produces Arrow with Berlanti and Kreisberg, is not involved in Flash as he busy with Arrow, now heading into its second season.
Expanding DC’s footprint on the CW has been a priority for the network and DC sibling Warner Bros. TV, especially following the departure of the long-running Smallville and in light of the recent success of Arrow, one of few breakout hits last season. This past development season, the CW developed a Wonder Woman origins project, which didn’t go to pilot. The network in May commissioned a new script with a new writer which has been delivered, but I hear the network has hit the pause button on the project. Flash is certain to get a priority given its A-list auspices. Read More »
The news was announced at the CW superhero drama’s Comic-Con panel today, when the network showed a sneak peek (see below) of Season 2, which premieres October 9.
SAN DIEGO and BURBANK, Calif. (July 20, 2013) — Oliver Queen (series star Stephen Amell) will have his work cut out for him when he returns to Starling City on October 9 for the second season of The CW’s #1 series Arrow (Wednesdays 8/7c). At today’s Comic-Con panel session in Ballroom 20, fans learned of two new DC Comics characters coming to Starling City — Bronze Tiger and Sebastian Blood. Executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg revealed that Michael Jai White (Spawn, The Dark Knight, Mortal Kombat) will guest star as Bronze Tiger, while Kevin Alejandro (Southland, True Blood, Golden Boy) will appear as Sebastian Blood in upcoming episodes of the acclaimed action drama’s second season (airdates to be announced).
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Summer Glau has been cast in a recurring role on the CW‘s Arrow, which kicks off its second season October 9. Glau, who has amassed plenty of genre street cred in TV series like Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Dollhouse, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and most recently as a recurring on Syfy’s Alphas, is set to play the dangerous Isabel Rochev, Vice President of Acquisitions of Stellmoor International, a company looking to take over Queen Consolidated. Arrow gained an early second season pickup in February and was the CW’s breakout hit last season, performing strongly after it posted the network’s best series-premiere numbers since 2009. Glau is repped by UTA and the Schiff Co.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures, Walden Media and director Angelina Jolie are getting closer to the start line on Unbroken, the incredible story of Louis Zamperini based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book. I’m hearing that three young actors — Alexander Dreymon (Blood Ransom), 300: Rise Of An Empire co-star Jack O’Connell and Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan — are screen-testing to play Zamperini as a young man. I don’t know that Jolie won’t widen her short list — she has met with reams of young actors already to get to this point — but I do believe this has the potential to be a career-making job. The actor will play Zamperini from the time he was a wunderkind member of the American track team that competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to his survival of a harrowing plane crash on the water, to becoming a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Zamperini, who has shown an iron will in dealing with adversity, turned 96 in January and the emergence of this short list is good news because it means he hopefully will get to see the film. It is one that Universal first developed in 1956 when it was to star Tony Curtis, right after Spartacus. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing and Mick Garris is exec producer.
Jolie signed on last December to make this her second film as director after In The Land Of Blood And Honey. She had campaigned hard for the job against other directors who sparked to Hillenbrand’s book. I spoke to her at the time and she was completely dialed into the story and how she wanted to tell it. Since then, Joel and Ethan Coen rewrote a script that had been penned by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese, The book has now been on The New York Times Bestseller List for two and a half years, which is the fifth-longest a book has stayed there. Read More »
RSA has hired Arrow Kruse to be an executive producer at Ridley Scott’s commercials production company, running the Branded Content, Digital and Entertainment division. He is currently overseeing the RSA/Machinima partnership for RSA president Jules Daly and Ridley Scott. Said Daly, “I am thrilled to have Arrow onboard at RSA as we continue the company’s legacy of innovative work — creating new definitions and platforms to deliver branded content that pushes the boundaries of expectations. Arrow’s extensive experience with reinventing and expanding global campaigns, and establishing new brands makes him the perfect fit for us here”. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After a spirited bidding battle involving multiple studios, 20th Century Fox has just closed a 7-figure deal for film rights to the international spy thriller Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. Film Rites‘ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch will produce. The book sold to Scribner in a similarly vigorous publishing auction last year. It will be published in June.
The book is set in contemporary Russia, and state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash. He is a first-tour CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow. Dominika winds up seeking revenge against her soulless masters, and living a fatal double life after she is recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington. She also hunts down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Vladimir Putin’s intelligence service. Fox’s Kira Goldberg was instrumental in securing the rights. ICM Partners repped the author and brokered the deal.
FremantleMedia is launching a new slate of scripted titles at Mip-TV which kicks off next week in Cannes, France. Among them are Wentworth, the reimagining of Prisoner Cell Block H, and The Making Of A Lady, from Runaway Fridge. Wentworth is a 10-part FremantleMedia Australia production that will premiere on Oz’s Foxtel in May. Event thriller Lady stars Linus Roache, Joanna Lumley and Lydia Wilson and is based on The Making Of A Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Read More »
Jonathan Del Arco, who has been recurring as the snarky but lovable medical examiner Dr. Morales on five seasons of TNT‘s The Closer and the first season of spinoff Major Crimes, has been promoted to a series regular for Major Crimes‘ upcoming second season. He is with SDB Partners and Kyle Fritz Management.
Also promoted to regular for Season 2 is Arrow‘s Colton Haynes. Haynes has appeared in one episode so far of the CW series and will continue to recur for the remainder of Season 1 before getting a bump to regular. He plays Roy Harper, a man who has lived a life of crime growing up in The Glades section of Starling City and who now has a relationship with Thea Queen (Willa Holland).
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Stephen Amell, star of the CW’s DC Comics-inspired Arrow, was deliberately coy about pending developments for his character Oliver Queen at this evening’s PaleyFest panel. The actor said things are “happening fast and furious now” for Oliver. “We’ve been shooting for just over 7 months. In coming episode 17, things are actually pretty good for Oliver, which means they are about to go really bad.” Producers also confirmed that one minor character will become a regular in Season 2: Emily Bett Rickards as IT expert Felicity Smoak. The character’s bright future was ensured by two things: One, the positive Twitter feedback during her first appearance as well the reaction of Warner Bros. TV President Peter Roth who, Andrew Kreisberg reported, called to say: “I love the blond computer girl.”
Related: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Teases Peter Pan Season Finale
Amell also said Arrow is going to WonderCon this year and that he “can’t wait” to return to Comic-Con as well. He admitted he will miss the anonymity that the cast enjoyed on Arrow’s first visit to New York Comic-Con in mid-October, days after the series premiered. The series, which debuted on October 10, 2012, was picked up for a full season on October 22 and was renewed for a second season in February. Given the show’s success, Amell joked that like his dual-identity character, this year he might have to attend the fan conventions in disguise.
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