Outcast, the exorcism drama project from The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman, is moving to a pilot stage at Cinemax. Kirkman made the announcement on Twitter from Comic-Con, where he is with the AMC zombie drama which has its always-popular panel presentation in Hall H. In his pilot writing debut, Kirkman penned Outcast on spec for The Walking Dead international partner Fox International Channels, which developed the project internally before taking it out. Cinemax acquired the script last November. Like The Walking Dead, Outcast too is based on a comic by Kirkman, who will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sue Naegle, Chris Black, and Sharon Tal Yguado of FIC. The project follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.
David Andrews (Fight Club, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines) has been booked as recurring on ABC thriller The Whispers, from ABC Studios and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV. It focuses on an an unseen force that is manipulating society’s most innocent – our children – to act in favor of its cause. As the kids unwittingly help this unknown enemy, the clock counts down in a suspenseful race to save humanity. Andrews, repped by Mavrick Artists and Untitled, will play U.S. Secretary of Defense Frommer in a minimum 6-episode arc. Frommer is always in control, calmly authoritative, steely and uncompromising. He meets with Wes regarding Captain Bennigan’s possible survival after the plane crash, surprising Wes by letting him know that Bennigan was working secret ops. He is, however, very concerned about how much Bennigan’s wife may know.
Scottish-born late night host Craig Ferguson is set to moderate HBO’s Game of Thrones panel Friday at Comic-Con as the cabler brings the fantasy-drama to San Diego along with its vampire series True Blood. Game Of Thrones, which led the Emmy field last week with 19 nominations, will take over Hall H on Friday at 1:40PM with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, author and co-EP George R.R. Martin, and stars John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) in attendance.
Wednesday, July 23 — Preview Night
6-10 PM, Ballroom 20
Warner Bros. TV Pilot Screening: Constantine, The Flash, iZombie, Teen Titans Go!
Thursday, July 24
10-11 AM, Ballroom 20
Fox’s 24: Kiefer Sutherland, EP Jon Cassar returns to Comic-Con to show off highlights from 24: Live Another Day.
10:30-11:30 AM, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront
Legends Of TV Land: Betty White (The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and other TV celebs will answer questions about their work and making history on television. Sneak peek of animated episode of Hot in Cleveland, airing July 30th.
Just under a month before its debut, The Knick is getting a second 10-episode season by Cinemax, it was announced today at the Summer TV Press Tour 2014. The announcement from Kary Antholis, president of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming just before the start of a panel with EP and director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen discussing the new 10-part series set to debut on August 8. “Understanding that they were reorienting that brand, I kind of wanted to be the big kid at that school,” the Oscar winner said soon afterwards of his desire to be on Cinemax. Owen added of his own initial involvement that “Steven called me up and he had the first script and told me he had a 10-part TV series.” Admitting he was hesitant at first, Owen said that once he started reading the first script, “40 minutes later there was no way I was not going to do it.” Soderbergh also said today that he would be directing all 10 episodes of Season 2 of The Knick as he did Season 1. “Practically speaking it’s a much more efficient way to work,” he noted of both the finances and aesthetic of one director handling a project like The Knick.
Co-creator and EPs Jack Amiel and Michael …
Steven Soderbergh directs and Clive Owen stars in Cinemax‘s new 10-part series The Knick, slated to debut August 8. Set in downtown New York in 1900, The Knick centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics. André Holland, Eve Hewson, Juliet Rylance, Jeremy Bobb, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Grainger Hines, Leon Addison Brown and Matt Frewer round out the ensemble cast. Check out the first trailer.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Daniel Emmerson Joins Michael Fassbender’s DMC Film; ‘Remember’ Sells To Dozen-Plus Territories; More
Daniel Emmerson Joins Michael Fassbender’s Production Company
Producer Daniel Emmerson has joined Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan’s London-based production outfit DMC Film. The company is in postproduction on Slow West, the feature debut of director John Maclean, who won the 2012 BAFTA for Best Short Film for Pitch Black Heist. Fassbender stars in Slow West, which is backed by Film4 in co-production with See Saw Films. Other DMC projects include Assassin’s Creed with Ubisoft and New Regency, and due to start shooting in 2015, as well as the BBC Films backed Garagistas written by James Graham. Emmerson brings with him a slate of projects and relationships with emerging talent including Fagin’s Kitchen, which is being co-developed with Film4 and will be directed by Kibwe Tavares and written by Daniel Kaluuya.
As part of ramping up operations, Paramount Television has signed its first first-look deal, a three-year production pact with management/production company Anonymous Content, which executive produces HBO’s breakout hit True Detective. Under the agreement, Paramount TV will have first-look rights to produce and distribute scripted television programming developed by Anonymous Content for broadcast, premium cable, cable and online. Paramount TV’s first project with Anonymous Content, run by managing partners Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, will be a drama series inspired by Caleb Carr’s best-selling novel, The Alienist, which is set in 1896 New York. “I’ve known Steve both professionally and personally for many years, and I have enormous respect for the sophisticated and entertaining movies and television Anonymous Content creates,” said Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey. “As we build our television business, we are proud to welcome the Anonymous team into the Paramount family.”
Paramount TV, which was launched last summer with Amy Powell as president, recently received its first greenlight for three-hour Grease Live musical event on Fox in 2015. The studio’s development slate include an event series based on A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Lindbergh; a crime drama with Joe Carnahan in the vein of Narc; a re-imagination of The Truman Show with Andrew Niccol; an adaptation of Peter Moffat’s BBC series The Village with Sundance Prods. and All3Media; a television adaptation of Ghost with filmmakers Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner; and a multi-project deal with Craig Brewer for original scripted dramas.
Here’s a rundown of shows that will hit the airwaves (and Netflix) for the first time between now and the start of the 2014-15 TV season, along with those returning for new seasons or coming off hiatus. We will update when new dates are announced:
American Ninja Warrior (NBC, Season 6 premiere)
MasterChef (Fox, Season 5 premiere)
BBQ Pit Wars (Destination America, new series sneak peek; time slot premiere May 31)
Rock My RV With Bret Michaels (Travel, series premiere)
America’s Got Talent (NBC, Season 9 premiere)
The Night Shift (NBC, series premiere)
Extreme Weight Loss (ABC, Season 4 premiere)
The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy, series premiere)
Heroes Of Cosplay (Syfy, Season 1B premiere)
Alien Encounters (Science, Season 3 premiere)
Boundless (Esquire, Season 2 premiere)
The Haves And The Have Nots (OWN, Season 2B premiere)
Little Women: LA (Lifetime, series premiere)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, Season 11 premiere)
Rogue (Audience [DirecTV], Season 2 premiere)
Our America With Lisa Ling (OWN, Season 5 premiere)
Undateable (NBC, series premiere; back-to-back episodes)
The Sixties (CNN, limited series premiere)
Crossbones (NBC, series premiere)
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (WE tv, series premiere)
Mystery Millionaire (WE tv, series premiere)
No Limits (Animal Planet, series premiere)
Derek (Netflix, Season 2 premiere)
Bet On Your Baby (ABC, Season 2 premiere)
Sing Your Face Off (ABC, series premiere)
Halt & Catch Fire (AMC, series premiere)
Enlisted (Fox, unaired episodes premiere)
Food Network Star (Food Network, Season 10 premiere)
Mountain Men (History, Season 3 premiere)
Return To Amish (TLC, series premiere)
Last Seen Alive (Investigation Discovery, series premiere)
The 2014 Cannes Film Festival marks 25 years since Spike Lee brought Do The Right Thing to the Croisette in a premiere that left some journalists labeling it a powder keg and predicting a trail of racial violence for its U.S. release. Lee was invited to celebrate the anniversary in Cannes Classics, but business commitments kept him home. Lee instead is throwing all his chips into the comparatively obscure American Black Film Festival, which moves from Miami to New York next month. There, he’ll celebrate the silver anniversary and launch his new film, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus, and he is hoping hard that distributors will come. Lee, who 28 years ago made his feature debut on the seminal indie She’s Gotta Have It, has since made films of every shape, size and genre, way more of them memorable (Malcolm X, Inside Man) than forgettable (Oldboy). We spoke to discuss why he selected ABFF to launch a new film made at the tiniest budget level since his debut, and it turned into a long discussion of how a filmmaker evolves when he is determined to make movies his way. I found our exchange so entertaining I wanted to share it with Deadline readers. Much has changed since Lee blazed on the scene with a lively visual style and subject matter that evolved from playful to provocative. So it somehow seemed emblematic of change last night that Lee, always identified as a Brooklynite die-hard Knicks fan, did part of this chat while trying to direct a cab driver taking him from Manhattan (where he now lives) to Brooklyn, the only place you can watch a New York team play basketball right now. “If you write where I’m going, make sure to say I’m there to root for Jesus Shuttlesworth, because I’ll always be a Knicks guy. I’m not there for the Brooklyn Nets. And please tell those distributors to come and see my film.”
DEADLINE: From its crowdfunding origins to your decision to unveil at the New York-bound American Black Film Festival on June 22, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus seems an unlikely place to entice distributors that go shopping at Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and Venice. Why was the American Black Film Festival the right place to launch?
LEE: I had obligations here that prevented me from being at Cannes, and it just didn’t work out for Do The Right Thing and Cannes Classics. And I don’t want to wait until Toronto for Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus. You get a distribution deal in the fall and it takes another four or five months to position the film for release. I just don’t want to have this film sitting on a shelf, waiting, waiting, waiting. I’m friends with Jeff Friday and it’s a big move for that festival to come to New York. I am a New York City filmmaker. They already asked to commemorate Do The Right Thing, and they were looking for a closing-night film. I said, let’s do it.
Common is near a deal to play prominent civil rights activist James Bevel and Andre Holland is set to play Andrew Young in Selma, the Ava DuVernay-directed drama that has Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt’s Plan B producing at Paramount. David Oyelowo is playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bevel, field general of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was a key figure in the politically charged march against segregation in Alabama.
Holland, who stars opposite Clive Owen in the Steven Soderbergh Cinemax series The Knick and opposite Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer in the Mike Binder-directed Black And White, plays Young, who was long a close confidante of MLK. Common is repped by CAA, Holland by Paradigm and Brookside Artist Management.
X Files veteran Frank Spotnitz moved to London for Cinemax/BBC series Hunted a few years back, and in 2013 launched London-based Big Light Productions. Now, he’s digging even further into the UK TV scene. Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer (Houdini) have created crime series Freud: The Secret Casebook. NBC Universal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films will produce with Big Light. The period drama will see Sigmund Freud become the world’s first criminal profiler. Set in early 20th century Vienna, the series will focus on Freud as he uses his startling new theories about psychology to help solve crimes, and will blend episodic murder mysteries with the on-going tale of the psychoanalyst-cum-detective’s tangled and provocative personal life. The project is out to cast and directors. Downton‘s Gareth Neame is exec producing with Nigel Marchant for Carnival; Alan Gasmer (Vikings), Matt Baer (Unbroken) and Christian Popp and Alexander Keil of Germany’s Producers at Work are also exec producing. Spotnitz is keeping busy in Europe these days. He was at Mip-TV in Cannes last week to talk about his gig as showrunner on the second season of TNT pick-up Transporter The Series, and he also unveiled Big Light’s new first-look distribution deal with Tandem Communications. Transporter, which he boarded in season two, will air on TNT later this year.
The judges are set for 13th annual edition of the event founded by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff. The seven competition juries for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival include 33 filmmakers, writers, producers, actors, journalists and entrepreneurs. The World Narrative Competition judges are Lake Bell, Steve Conrad, Bart Freundlich, Catherine Hardwicke and Ben Younger. Jurors for other categories include Toni Collette, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Alfonso Arau, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin, HBO’s Sheila Nevins and Google’s Regina Dugan. The Nas rap docu Time Is Illmatic will open the fest, which runs April 16-27 in NYC. The recently re-retitled Begin Again closes it. Here is the full list of jurors and categories:
Studiocanal-owned Tandem Communications (Crossing Lines) has pacted with X Files veteran Frank Spotnitz‘s Big Light Productions in a first-look distrbution deal. Spotnitz is in Cannes this week in support of the second season of Atlantique Productions’ Transporter The Series, on which he is showrunner. He was also on hand for the announcement this afternoon of the new deal with Tandem, saying he has a slate of projects at Big Light that are looking for the best partners and the best distribution platforms. The writer/producer founded London-based Big Light in 2013 after he moved to the British capital for Cinemax/BBC series Hunted, and found he wanted to stay. Projects being developed at Big Light include work from some U.S. talent, but overall are ambitious European drama series that will have global appeal. They’ll also draw on the best lessons he has been able to bring from the States. At the same time, he is enjoying the local sensibilities. “When you come to Europe, you wake up,” he said. “Hollywood people make lots of money, and here people do it out of passion.” Spotnitz added, “I love many, many things about Hollywood,” but says he’s found that in Europe, people work hard “because they want it to be good… In Hollywood, popularity is always first.” Tandem’s President Rola Bauer did not elaborate on terms of the deal, but said the company had been keen to …
Melissa George has been tapped as the female lead opposite Rufus Sewell in ABC’s Richard LaGravenese drama pilot. Also cast in the pilot, in the vein of Dangerous Liaisons, is Elliot Knight. The untitled project is set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites, Philip Fitzgerald Julien (Sewell) and Margot Worth Cole (George), who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. Brit Knight, repped by Resolution, Affirmative Entertainment, UK’s Payne Management and Mike Adler, plays Philip’s right-hand man Leo who is loyal to his boss and keeps all of his secrets. This marks the second consecutive ABC/ABC Studios drama pilot for Aussie George, who toplined Gothica last season. She also played the lead in the Cinemax/BBC drama Hunted.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
House alumna Odette Annable is set as one of the main leads in ABC‘s 10-episode summer drama series The Astronaut Wives Club, from Fake Empire, Groundswell Productions and ABC Studios. Written by Stephanie Savage based on Lily Koppel’s book, it tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. Annable will play Trudy Cooper, the youngest of the Astro-wives and a licensed pilot herself.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
After 300: Rise Of An Empire had an opening-week global gross of $136 million and resuscitated the franchise potential of a first film that ended with a bloody pile of 300 dead Spartans, the town is asking: who the heck is this Sullivan Stapleton, avenger of Spartans, scourge of Persians and the latest guy in town with a star look and a six-pack? And more importantly, when is he available to reinforce to Hollywood that he’s got the goods to become its next leading man?
I caught up with Stapleton as he was home in Melbourne, recuperating from a concussion suffered in Bangkok while he was there filming Strike Back, the Cinemax series he stars in with Philip Winchester. He has done barely any press. That knock on the head kept him from being able to fly, which knocked him out of the chance to do the tour for the 300 sequel. A few things about Stapleton: he’s Australian, and like most of the actors who grew up in the business there before coming to these shores, he’s got a working-class attitude and is not at all full of himself. When you speak to him, you call him Sully. He looks like an edgier version of Pierce Brosnan, and in an age where Hollywood continues to build franchises around young actors who’ve barely passed puberty, Stapleton is (gasp!) 36 years old and is the first new face to come along in the action game in awhile who actually looks like a man. Though he will the first to admit that getting older takes a toll.
“My head is good now, but I’ve been thinking I must be getting older, because I took a hit to the head that hurt a bit more than it did when I fell all the time when I was a kid,” he said. “It was an accident, my head hit the road, and they put me in a hospital in Bangkok and then I came here to my mom’s house for rest, relaxation and more tests. Unfortunately, it means that I couldn’t do the 300 tour, which was sad for me because I love that film. I am so thankful to the bosses at Warner Bros for giving me that job, and the guys from Strike Back who have allowed me time to get over this head wound. Obviously, that opening weekend helped the cause.”
House Of Cards‘ Sebastian Arcelus and Gerald McRaney are joining the cast of Relativity’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best Of Me. Directed by Michael Hoffman (The Last Station, The Emperor’s Club), The Best Of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.