Arrow Films has acquired UK rights to God’s Pocket starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sold by Electric Entertainment, the film is the feature directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery. Electric acquired it at Sundance. IFC has U.S. distribution and Arrow will release later this year in Britain. Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro and Caleb Landry Jones also star in the film written by Slattery and Alex Metcalf. Based on the Pete Dexter novel, the movie follows a man who tries to cover up the accidental death of his stepson in a blue collar neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Arrow’s recent titles include Love Is All You Need, The Hunt and A Hijacking.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Arrow Takes UK On ‘God’s Pocket’; Channel 4 Warms To ‘Fargo’; Noah Taylor, Charlotte Riley Join ‘Peaky Blinders’; Amy Poehler At Mip; More
Barry Sonnenfeld is poised to direct Fox‘s half-hour pilot Dead Boss, from WBTV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. An adaptation of the BBC3 series, Dead Boss is a comedic mystery that finds overachiever Helen Stephens (Jane Krakowski) wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss and forced to rely on her train wreck of a sister (Justine Lupe) to prove her innocence. This marks a reunion for Sonnenfeld and Kaplan — Sonnenfeld directed former agent Kaplan’s first pilot as a producer, ABC comedy Funny In Farsi. The Man In Black helmer most recently directed the CBS’ Beverly Hills Cop pilot last season.
Tatiana Maslany — who stars as a con woman and her numerous clones — was widely considering one the Emmys’ biggest snubs last year, though the Golden Globes did hand her a nom. Now here’s our first look at Season 2 of Orphan Black, in which Sarah (Maslany) is on a desperate quest to find her missing daughter (Skyler Wexler). Key exchange: When Sarah is asked, “What are you gonna do — just start shooting people?” she replies simply, “Yeah.” The sophomore session of BBC America‘s drama bows at 9 pm April 19. Have a look:
The Sam Mendes-directed West End musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which recently extended its run to May 20, 2015, tied today with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along to lead the list of Olivier Award nominees with seven each. Charlie grabbed mentions in the Best Actor in a Musical category for Douglas Hodge as well as Best New Musical, among others. The show, from Warner Bros Theatrical Ventures, has twice broken records during its run for the highest weekly gross sales. The other Best New Musical nominees include Once, The Book Of Mormon and The Scottsboro Boys; each received six nominations. In the acting categories, Tom Hiddleston is cited for his lead turn in Coriolanus and Jude Law for his take on Henry V. Judi Dench in Peter And Alice, is up against Hayley Atwell, Anna Chancellor and Lesley Manville for Best Actress. The Olivier Awards ceremony will take place at London’s Royal Opera House on April 13. Click over for a full list of nominations:
Jumping on the popular Scandi crime wave, BBC Films and Shine Pictures have jointly acquired rights to Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith’s recently published The Farm. Shine’s head of film, Ollie Madden, will produce the feature adaptation with Christine Langan executive producing for BBC Films. The psychological thriller centers on Londoner Daniel, who believes his parents are living a peaceful life on a farm in rural Sweden. After the shocking revelation that his mother has escaped from a mental hospital, she pleads with him to allow her the chance to tell her story. Daniel must decide whether she is a victim of a terrible conspiracy, or, as his father fears, is suffering a psychotic episode. He soon becomes entwined in an urgent tale of secrets, lies, and a horrible crime that implicates his own father. The novel debuted last month to strong reviews in the UK and also launched as a bestseller in Australia, Germany and Israel. It has a further 13 major territories sold. Smith’s Child 44 series has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. The first installment was made into a feature starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Vincent Cassell and directed by Daniel Espinosa. Summit/Lionsgate will release later this year. The author also created the five-part BBC miniseries, London Spy, a contemporary thriller that sees an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of espionage …
First deal out of SXSW today is Lionsgate‘s purchase of the North American rights for Eduardo Sanchez‘s Bigfoot feature Exists. Sanchez co-directed the 1999 microbudget title The Blair Witch Project for $60K, which then-distributor Artisan morphed into a worldwide phenom with close to $250 million at the box office. Below is Lionsgate’s release for the Jamie Nash-scripted Exists:
(Austin, TX & Santa Monica, CA, March 8, 2014) — Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) has acquired North American distribution rights to EXISTS, a new horror film from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT director Eduardo Sánchez. The film played last night to a sold-out midnight screening at SXSW in Austin.
In Bigfoot’s bold return to the big screen, five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary predator that is stronger, smarter, and more terrifying than anything they would have ever believed exists.
Actor-comedian Paul F. Tompkins (Comedy Bang! Bang!) will star opposite Molly Shannon in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot from creator Brian Gallivan, Sony TV and Olive Bridge Prods. It centers on an overworked father (Tompkins) dreaming of being “on vacation all year” who decides to uproot his family from the city and move them to New Hampshire, where they open a group of tourist cottages but rarely, if ever, feel like they’re on vacation. Shannon plays his wife. Also cast in the pilot is Tessa Albertson as the couple’s older daughter. Repped by Innovative/MKSD.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Strangers With Candy‘s Amy Sedaris will co-star opposite Jane Krakowski in Fox‘s half-hour pilot Dead Boss, from WBTV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. An adaptation of the BBC3 series, Dead Boss is a comedic mystery that finds overachiever Helen Stephens (Krakowski) wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss and forced to rely on her train wreck of a sister to prove her innocence. Sedaris plays Mary, one of Helen’s nosy, fault-finding co-workers and the gatekeeper to their boss who secretly loved the man and openly hated Helen.
Related: 2014 Fox Pilots
Amazon.com today announced a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide North America that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming Season One and future seasons of the dramatic thriller Orphan Black. The series returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 19, at 9 PM EST. Prime Instant Video is the exclusive online-only subscription home for PBS series Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, FX drama The Americans, CBS summer series Under The Dome and later this summer, Extant, among other programs that include Veronica Mars, Justified, Falling Skies, Grimm, Workaholics, Suits, Covert Affairs, etc., as well as Amazon’s first original series Alpha House and Betas.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Kon-Tiki’ Writer To Pen TV Drama ‘The Institution’; UK’s Feature Film Company Relaunched
‘Kon-Tiki’ Scribe To Develop Norwegian TV Drama ‘The Institution’
In the hot Nordic TV space, Norwegian writer Petter Skavlan is set to develop The Institution, an original series, for Nordisk Film. The drama is set inside a fictional royal family and will examine the inner workings of a modern European monarchy as well as discussing the ancient institution’s place in today’s society. Skavlan wrote and exec produced 2012 Oscar nominee Kon-Tiki. Also teaming on The Institution are Borgen producer Camilla Hammerich, Nordisk’s head of production Henrik Zein and executive producer Lone Korslund. Skavlan is represented by ICM Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery has had a change of heart about its Naked And Afraid after-show, Discovery After Dark — but it’s not what you think. The cable network isn’t chickening out after announcing the after-show with surprisingly little fanfare last month – it’s changing the name and the host, to the much better Naked After Dark, and to Josh Wolf, respectively. Wolf, known to some for his panelist appearances on Chelsea Lately, is maybe best known to Discovery viewers as host of its wildly popular Shark Week after-show Shark After Dark.
Starz has partnered with the BBC on the British broadcaster’s eight-episode limited drama series The Missing. Starz will co-produce the project, starring James Nesbitt (The Hobbit trilogy), which has begun filming in Brussels. Written by Harry and Jack Williams and directed by Tom Shankland, the thriller will air on BBC One in the UK and Starz in the U.S. in fall 2014. It is produced by New Pictures and Company Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures and Colin Callender’s Playground. All3media International has funded development of The Missing and retains all U.S. rights not obtained by Starz. Missing reunites the auspices behind The White Queen limited series, which was a success for Starz; it also hailed from BBC One, Company Pictures, Playground and all3media.
Mip-TV: Warner Takes Format Rights To BBC’s ‘The Link’; FremantleMedia Intl To Sell ‘Lindsay’; Keshet’s Avi Nir To Keynote; The Company, Dori Media Partner
Warner Bros International Television Production has acquired format rights to distribute BBC One’s new quiz show, The Link. BBC One has commissioned 25 episodes for a daytime slot. The show is produced by STV Productions in association with LTV. Not to be confused with the BBC’s The Weakest Link, the game show pits teams against each other as they race to find the link between questions. Guess the connections, break the links, win money. “We know that great game shows are back at the top of broadcasters’ wish lists. The Link is that rare thing — an original new quiz show with a strong identity in terms of both its game play and visual elements, commissioned in a key market. Our excitement is shared by Mike Darnell and his team at the Warner Bros Television Group, who will be bringing it to market in the U.S.,” says WBITP’s Andrew Zein. The UK version of the show will be hosted by actor Mark Williams, best known as Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. Gary Chippington is executive producer for STV Productions, Jo Street is executive producer for the BBC and Paul Johnson is executive producer for LTV and Tuvalu Entertainment Ltd.
As predicted yesterday, the BBC is shuttering its BBC Three channel. It will be “reinvented,” says the BBC, as an online service. This will result at a cost savings of over £50M per year at a time when the broadcaster is looking to slash $100M in costs. BBC Three has catered to a young audience with shows like Little Britain and Gavin And Stacey. The BBC considers the audience the most “mobile and ready to move to an online world.” Longform content once seen on BBC Three will move to either BBC One or BBC Two. The closure will also mean an extra £30M per year for BBC One which will funnel the money into drama series. BBC director-general Tony Hall wrote to staff today, “My concern – along with that of everybody I meet inside and outside the BBC – is to ensure that the quality of what we do is not compromised along the way. We are here to produce exceptional and distinctive programs and services for Britain and the world. But I do believe, as I said only last week, that the BBC has taken incremental change as far as it can. Something has to give. And that means hard choices.” BBC Three will go off air in the fall of 2015 in what is the first time in BBC history that the corporation is proposing to close a …
In its first exclusive order of original Canadian content, Netflix has sealed a deal with Entertainment One to revive the popular comedy Trailer Park Boys. The series originally ran on Canada’s Showcase, with the seventh season ending in 2007. Netflix has now come on board for an eighth and ninth season, which will be available exclusively to subscribers across all of the streaming service’s territories including Canada, the U.S. and the UK. Ten new episodes of Season 8 will debut on Netflix this year. The service also will offer all past seasons of the show and debut three stand-alone specials and two new features, Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t Legalize It and Swearnet, which will come to the service following their theatrical premieres this year. Trailer Park Boys stars John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells and Mike Smith as denizens of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park, whose misadventures are based in friendship, family and loyalty – but those values are hidden behind a façade of gunfights, dope, liquor and swearing. It aired in more than a dozen countries including the U.S. (on BBC America and via DirecTV), Australia, the UK, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia. Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, also known as The Big Dirty and Trailer Park Boys, was in released in Canada in 2006, and later in the U.S. in 2008. It’s become a cult film since …
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More
Eccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version.
True Blood alumna Lucy Griffiths has been cast as the female lead opposite Matt Ryan in NBC’s drama pilot Constantine, from Warner Bros TV. Also cast in the project, based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories are Lost alum Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford (True Detective). Constantine centers on John Constantine (Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. When Liv (Griffiths), the daughter of a late friend, is targeted by demons, Constantine steps in to save her. Griffiths’ Liv is an offbeat young woman tired of her ordinary life who comes to discover that she has the ability of seeing the supernatural world among us, which makes her a key player in the battle between good and evil. Liv teams up with Constantine to save lives, master her power, and learn more about her late father.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Global Showbiz Briefs: Chinese “Fifth Generation” Director Wu Tianming Dies; New BBC Dramas Feature Stellan Skarsgard, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Froggatt & More; Maurice Lévy To Give Mip-TV Keynote
Chinese director Wu Tianming died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack at his home in Beijing. Wu, known as the “Godfather of the Fifth Generation” directed several films in the 1970s and ’80s that helped reshape Chinese cinema including 1986′s Old Well and 1995′s award winner King Of Masks. He got his professional start at Xi’an Film Studios as an apprentice to Cui Wei and eventually took over the studio in the late 1970s, over the next decade-plus helped guide the careers of such noted Chinese filmmakers as Huang Jianxin, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. His last directing job was 2003′s Gadfly, a 20-part TV miniseries based on the E.L. Voynich novel.
Stellan Skarsgard has been cast in the lead role of Abi Morgan’s new BBC series River. Morgan, who has scripted features including Shame, The Iron Lady and the upcoming Suffragette, won an Emmy last year for writing the now cancelled BBC series The Hour. River reteams her with the BBC for a six-part series she created. Kudos is producing. The drama centers on John River (Skarsgard), a brilliant police officer who walks a professional tightrope between a pathology so extreme he risks permanent dismissal, and a healthy state of mind that would cure him of his gift. The series is due to air in 2015.
Also at the BBC, Ben Chaplin, Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt and Silent Witness‘ Emilia Fox have been confirmed to join drama showcase The Secrets. The strand is a series of five stand-alone films that highlights new writing talent. It’s made by Working Title TV for BBC One. The above are joining a host of British names that includes Olivia Colman, Alison Steadman, Ashley Walters, Helen Baxendale and Sarah Solemani. BAFTA-winning director Dominic Savage will helm the five films, each of which starts with one incident and then follows five different stories stemming from the event.
Indicating a ramp-up in television, MRC has added a scripted executive, bringing in BBC America’s Erin Jontow as VP Television, reporting to indie company’s TV head Joe Hipps, SVP, Television. MRC has House of Cards on Netflix, which has been renewed for a third season. It also has a pilot order at AMC for Knifeman and is developing a drama with director Alejandro González Iñárritu who co-created the project with Nicolas Giacobone, Armando Bo and Alexander Dinelaris and is attached to direct. Jontow most recently served as VP, Scripted Programming at BBC America where she worked on Orphan Black and Copper. Before that, she spent three years at Comedy Central.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Gemma Arterton Treads Boards In ‘Made In Dagenham’; Dave Heuten Joins FremantleMedia’s Belgium Arm; More
Gemma Arterton Coming To West End With ‘Made In Dagenham’
Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in a West End musical version of 2010 film Made In Dagenham. She’ll play Rita O’Grady, a role originated by Sally Hawkins in the Nigel Cole-directed movie. The show is a musical comedy about women who battled for equal rights at a Ford factory in Essex, England, in 1968. The BBC reports that Richard Bean, who wrote One Man, Two Guvnors, is penning the script for the show, which opens November 5 at the Adelphi Theater. Rupert Goold (Enron, American Psycho) is directing. Arterton recently starred onstage in The Duchess Of Malfi.