EXCLUSIVE: History scored big with its blockbuster The Bible miniseries. Now the cable network is exploring another project about Jesus that would portray him in a more controversial light. I’ve learned that the network is finalizing deals for the project, from feature writer Scott Kosar (The Machinist) and producers Eli Roth (the Hostel franchise) and Eric Newman (The Thing). Titled The Lost Years, the drama explores the undocumented years of Jesus’ life as a young adult. There is very little information about Jesus’ life from about the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. Because the project is in very early stages, it is unclear whether it would be developed as a regular series or a miniseries.
The Lost Years is based on an original idea by Kosar who developed it with Roth and Newman. All three have strong horror pedigree — Kosar co-wrote The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and The Crazies, and Roth and Newman jointly produced The Last Exorcism franchise in addition to their other horror credits. That is not a coincidence — nor is Roth and Newman’s exorcism connection. Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The upcoming weekend will host a number of anticipated films from the recent festival circuit, some of which are likely eyeing an Oscar nomination or two. Robert Redford-starrer All Is Lost hits theaters after crowd-pleasing runs in Cannes and the recent New York Film Festival. Word of mouth helped propel the film when it debuted back in May in Cannes, despite its limited dialog. 12 Years A Slave has practically won the race according to some prognosticators. A debut at Telluride, Toronto and NYFF, the film should continue to see positive word of mouth, though may prove tough viewing for some. Daniel Radcliffe stars in Sundance and Venice debut Kill Your Darlings. The Harry Potter thespian breaks out from the franchise that made him huge in a leading role that launches him squarely into adulthood. Doc filmmaker Jehane Noujaim takes her latest onto the streets of Cairo during the country’s series of uprisings in The Square. The filmmaker and her team experienced arrest, interrogation and more creating the film which had standing ovations at TIFF and NYFF. The doc is part of a trio of non-fiction films utilizing various forms of DIY releases including Blood Brother and “Fantastical doc” Peaches Does Herself. And The Film Collective and Dada will bow drama Torn in a targeted roll out.
All Is Lost
Director-writer: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Robert Redford
Robert Redford won praises for his portrayal of a skipper aboard a pleasure craft sailing alone on the open sea. The film unfolds with little dialog, with Redford playing the only cast member “Our Man,” whose boat collides with a shipping container at sea, damaging his boat, forcing him to face mortality and the elements. “It’s a big weekend for us, it’s the first movie Roadside has been involved with as a production,” Roadside co-president Howard Cohen said. “J.C. handed us the script as [his previous film] Margin Call opened. We had released that film [with success] and liked the material.” They also liked Redford who was attached at that point. Margin Call had debuted at Sundance, but Chandor had already reached out to Redford for the “Our Man” part. The two met in Redford’s office in L.A. “When we met, I was already inclined. I just had to make sure he wasn’t nuts,” said Redford at the recent New York Film Festival. Read More »
BAD ADVICE FROM MY BROTHER
TEAM: Jordan Pope Roush (w), Trevor Engleson (ep)
LOGLINE: Based on Jordan Pope Roush’s blog about the lousy advice he gets from his older brother, who has spent most of his post-college life chasing women and the almighty dollar on Wall Street. The kid brother wants to follow in his footsteps.
TEAM: Craig DiGregorio (w, ep), Matt Villines (d), Oz Rodriguez (d), Sean Clements (ep), Dominic Dierkes (ep), Oly Obst (ep), Greg Walter (ep), Andrew O’Connor (ep)
LOGLINE: Two co-dependent, odd-couple cousins try to manage a youth hostel without fully understanding youth, managing, hostels, or how people normally behave.
CAST: Sean Clements, Dominic Dierkes
TEAM: Greg Hess (ep), Mark Raterman (ep), Andy Miara (ep), Victor Nelli Jr. (ep)
LOGLINE: Two cheerfully clueless best pal schlubs, along with their wives, are social disasters but never stop trying.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has given a pilot pickup to Checked Out, a comedy written by Workaholics co-executive producer Craig DiGregorio. The project, to be directed by Matt Villines and Oz Rodriguez (Saturday Night Live), follows two co-dependent, odd-couple cousins (Sean Clements and Dominic Dierkes) trying to manage a youth hostel without fully understanding youth, managing, hostels, or how people normally behave. DiGregorio, Clements, Dierkes, Oly Obst and Greg Walter of 3 Arts and Andrew O’Connor of Objective Media executive produce. The project took an entrepreneurial route to pilot. Instead of selling a pitch for a script order, DiGregorio and his managers at 3 Arts opted to shoot an independently financed nearly full-length presentation starring Clements and Dierkes, who are story editors on Workaholics and have written and performed together in UCB improv comedy troupes. The presentation, which landed the group a green light at Comedy Central, also landed Billy Zane who is now in discussions to reprise his role in the pilot. DiGregorio is repped by WME and 3 Arts; Clements is with UTA and Mosaic; Dierkes, Villines and Rodriguez are with CAA and 3 Arts and Zane is with Underground. All five are also repped by attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Eli Roth‘s $10 million haunted house attraction is closing its doors this week, just a year after it first opened up shop on the Vegas strip. The timing has to be particularly painful, but Hostel director and horror maven Roth — whose Green Inferno was just acquired by Open Road out of Toronto — said eking out one last Halloween run wasn’t an option as he confirmed the closure today on his blog: “I wish we could stay open through Halloween – we all do – but these are decisions beyond our control. … Ultimately, however, for a variety of reasons, the business was not sustainable as a year-round event.” The Goretorium announced the biz’s shutdown on Facebook before Roth confirmed that tomorrow will be its last night of operations. The Goretorium filed for Chapter 11 in July but remained open during the reorganization process.
Open Road Films is acquiring The Green Inferno, the horror thriller written and directed by Eli Roth that premiered over the weekend in Toronto in the Midnight Madness section. I’m hearing there is no minimum guarantee with a gross corridor but that the pic will get a wide release. Roth’s movies always make money with their low budgets, so Roth and his financiers are betting on the upside. CAA repped the deal. Green Inferno centers on student activists from New York who travel to the remote jungles of Peru in order to stage a protest but find they are on the menu when they encounter a tribe of cannibals. Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy and Sky Ferreira star in the film, produced and financed by Worldview Entertainment’s Molly Conners and Chris Woodrow. Simon Halls, Miguel Asensio and Nicolas Lopez also are producers. It marks Roth’s first feature directing effort since 2007′s Hostel 2 and extends his winning streak at Toronto. Last year he killed it selling a pair of titles he produced to Dimension Films for upwards of $2 million each: Aftershock, which he also starred in, and Clown.
Related: Fleming Q&A’s Eli Roth On His Quest To Be Horror’s Walt Disney
Here are the films finalized for the Vanguard Programme of the Toronto Film Festival:
Blue Ruin Jeremy Saulnier, USA North American Premiere
A classic American revenge story, Blue Ruin follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Finding himself in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family, he proves to be an amateur assassin. Starring Macon Blair.
Borgman Alex van Warmerdam, The Netherlands/Belgium/Denmark North American Premiere
Borgman is the central character in Alex van Warmerdam’s dark, malevolent fable. Is he a dream or a demon, a twisted allegory or an all-too-real embodiment of our fears? Borgman is a sinister arrival in the sealed-off streets of modern suburbia. His presence unleashes a crowing gallery of distortion around the careful façade constructed by an arrogant, comfortable couple, their three children and nanny. Starring Jan Bijoet, Jeroen Perceval and Hadewych Minis.
Celestial Wives Of The Meadow Mari Alexey Fedorchenko, Russia Canadian Premiere
Comprised of 23 vignettes illuminating the pagan-influenced mores of western Russia’s Meadow Mari, the latest film from director Alexey Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) is a beguiling, painterly portrait of a culture driven by a ritualistic appreciation of female beauty and feminine sexuality.
The Fake Yeon Sang-ho, Korea World Premiere
A rural village is determined to be submerged and its residents are compensated for relocation. A swindler named Choi deceives the poor villagers with false religion to make them give up … Read More »
2013-14 Fox New Series
New Comedies — Fall
Brooklyn Nine-Nine — From Emmy Award-winning writer/producers Dan Goor and Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation”), and starring Emmy Award winners Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live”) and Andre Braugher (“Men of a Certain Age,” “Homicide: Life on the Street”), BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is a new single-camera ensemble comedy about what happens when a talented, but carefree, detective gets a new captain with a lot to prove. Detective JAKE PERALTA (Samberg) is a good enough cop that he’s never had to work that hard or follow the rules too closely. Perhaps because he has the best arrest record among his colleagues, he’s been enabled – if not indulged – throughout his entire career. That is, until the precinct gets a new commanding officer, Captain RAY HOLT (Braugher), who reminds this hotshot cop to respect the badge. Jake may have collared more criminals, but Detective AMY SANTIAGO (Melissa Fumero, “One Life to Live,” “Gossip Girl”) is close behind, and she’s keenly aware of how many arrests she needs to close the gap. Amy grew up with seven brothers who were all cops. She’s the first girl in the family to put on a police uniform, and suffice it to say: she’s extremely competitive…about everything. Also working cases in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct is Sergeant TERRY JEFFORDS (Terry Crews, “Bridesmaids,” “Everybody Hates Chris”), a linebacker of a man who’s lost his nerve, not because he’s a wimp, but because a year ago, his wife … Read More »
Male-friendly new comedy and drama series dominate Fox‘s new series picks. Fox is launching six new series in the fall — comedies Dads, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Enlisted and dramas, Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human — and one reality series, Junior Masterchef. Midseason will be as important with six new shows slated to unspool then: comedies Surviving Jack, Us & Them and animated Murder Police, dramas Rake and Gang Related and event series Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan. Without further ado, here is Fox’s 2013-14 schedule, with analysis and new show descriptions below it:
FOX FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8-9 PM Bones (fall) / ALMOST HUMAN (late fall)
9-10 PM SLEEPY HOLLOW (fall) / The Following (midseason)
8-8:30 PM DADS
8:30-9 PM BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
9-9:30 PM New Girl
9:30-10 PM The Mindy Project
8-10 PM The X Factor (fall) / American Idol (midseason)
8-9 PM The X Factor Results (fall) / American Idol Results (midseason)
9-10 PM Glee (fall) / RAKE (midseason)
8-9 PM JUNIOR MASTERCHEF (wt) (fall)
9-10 PM SLEEPY HOLLOW encores (fall)
8-9 PM Bones
9-9:30 PM Raising Hope (late fall)
9:30-10 PM ENLISTED (new; late fall)
7-10:30 PM Fox Sports Saturday
11 PM-12:30 AM ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF
7-7:30 PM NFL Game (fall)
7:30-8 PM The OT (fall)
8-8:30 PM The Simpsons
8:30-9:00 PM Bob’s Burgers
9:00-9:30 PM Family Guy
9:30-10 PM American Dad Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Brener (Glory Daze) and Lindsey Broad (The Office) are set to co-star in Silicon Valley, HBO’s single-camera dark comedy pilot from the King Of The Hill trio of Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky and producer Scott Rudin. They join recently cast T.J. Miller and Thomas Middleditch. Silicon Valley is set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Brener will play Big Head, Thomas’ (Middleditch) friend and confidant. He doesn’t really have that big of a head but the grade school nickname stuck. His claim to fame is getting himself into the Hacker Hostel incubator with his App idea “Nip Alert” which tells you the location of women with erect nipples. The owner of the Hacker House (Miller) loves him. Broad will play Tandy. Attractive in a friendly, slightly sloppy way, she is a loyal friend who would never have sex with her girlfriend’s boyfriends. Although a realist about wanting to marry into a comfortable life she has a bit of the romantic in her.
Judge will direct the pilot from a script he co-wrote with Altschuler and Krinsky. The three executive produce with Rudin and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. Brener, repped by TalentWorks, will be seen in … Read More »
Exclusive Media is handling international sales at the American Film Market for Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno. The horror thriller, produced and financed by Worldview Entertainment, is Roth’s first time back directing since 2007’s Hostel II. The movie stars Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy Aaron Burns, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz and Sky Ferreria. Roth and Aftershock co-writer Guillermo Amoedo wrote The Green Inferno. Roth is producing alongside Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, and Sobras International producers Miguel Asensio Llamas and Nicolás Lopez. Worldview’s Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich and Hoyt David Morgan will executive produce. Filming is set to start in Peru on November 5 before moving to Chile. Alex Walton, Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution will be presenting the film to international buyers at AFM. CAA, which arranged financing for the film, is handling domestic rights.
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What can I say, I have always gotten a kick out of Eli Roth. Even though I’ve only really seen him onscreen bashing Nazi brains with a baseball bat in Inglourious Basterds. I don’t have the aversion that my colleague Nikki Finke does for what she calls Roth’s “torture porn” offerings, because I never had the stomach to watch Cabin Fever or the two Hostel films. In the first place I grew up in an era of the original Night Of The Living Dead and Halloween, when it was enough to stalk promiscuous kids without harvesting their organs for profit. Regardless, Roth killed it at Toronto last week; before he even premiered the film he starred in and produced, Aftershock, he made a $2 million deal against gross and a guaranteed wide release for that film and another, Clown, about a dad who subs for a missing clown at his kid’s birthday party, can’t shed the clown white and slowly becomes a homicidal maniac. He’ll make a lot of money, as he always seems to, particularly because Aftershock only cost $2 million to make. But even more interesting is Roth’s grand plan to turn his flair for scare into a real empire.
DEADLINE: You made arguably the biggest deal at Toronto. Why did you sell it before it premiered?
ROTH: Anytime you make a movie the goal is a wide theatrical release, with the right distributor. Now that Lionsgate and Summit merged, there’s an opportunity for Dimension to make a move and become the horror powerhouse they were in the 90s and Bob told me, I want you to do what Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino did with us. Well, I’d made the Thanksgiving trailer for Grindhouse, and I developed the Stephen King novel Cell but I’d never done a movie with Dimension. On Cabin Fever, I offered it to Bob and then had to rush to sell it to Lionsgate before they found out Bob passed. When I first wrote Hostel, Bob said no, and when Screen Gems freaked and said they wouldn’t release it, I showed Bob the cut again. He said it was too violent, that he wouldn’t feel good putting it out into the world. Then it opened at $20 million and did $80 million on a $3 million negative cost. Those were the days when you could sell a lot of DVDs and we just hit the jackpot. Bob and Harvey apologized.
DEADLINE: Only in horror do you gross 25 times your budget.
ROTH: Even Hostel 2, which is Nikki’s favorite movie, I bought my parents a house with that one. We should all fail so well. Read More »
The Bourne Identity is the rare tent pole trilogy. It generated three films that set the high bar for the espionage genre, despite rampant creative clashes that go back to the first film, which was started by Doug Liman (who didn’t return). Key to the construction of Bourne’s complex mythology all along has been Tony Gilroy, who stripped away most of Robert Ludlum dense original book and boiled it down to an amnesiac assassin’s challenge to rediscover his identity and humanity. While that narrative arc propelled the film through three installments, Gilroy along the way stopped talking to director Paul Greengrass. And while Gilroy has screen credit on all three Bourne films, Matt Damon very uncharacteristically went out of his way to diss Gilroy’s script for The Bourne Ultimatum. At present, neither Greengrass nor Damon want anything more to do with Bourne.
This week, Gilroy returns as writer/director of the spinoff The Bourne Legacy. Focusing on an illicit CIA Treadstone offshoot that genetically enhances the killing skills of a small group of operatives, Gilroy introduces Jeremy Renner as new protagonist Aaron Cross. That character’s arc is woven into several plot lines from the last movie, something that expands Bourne’s universe to the point where another Bourne film could certainly be possible. In a wide ranging interview, Gilroy talks about that challenge, why the mid-budget thriller game that built his career is facing extinction, why screenwriters are so slighted, and how all Hollywood processes the Aurora, Colorado massacre, wondering if movies should be less violent.
DEADLINE: The Bourne Ultimatum ended with Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass bowing out, and then Damon disparaged your Bourne Ultimatum script. And here you’ve come back with a spinoff film that expands the universe and makes a Jason Bourne return more plausible. Given all the past acrimony, what drew you back?
GILROY: I didn’t feel that acrimony. I turned in a draft of Ultimatum and it got green lit, and then I went off and directed Michael Clayton. I was really out of it. But the last thing I ever thought I would do would come back and write one, much less ever direct it. It was just so not on my radar at all. When all that other stuff happened, I read about it, probably through you. Long after, the guys from the Ludlum estate came to New York and wanted to have a cup of coffee. My brother was working for them at the time; I didn’t want to be rude. It was pretty much a courtesy meeting. I went in and they expressed all their frustrations with how to go forward. It was like, what do they do? Where could they go? You can imagine all the wacky ideas that everybody had been banging around. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Eli Roth is hot again. I’ve just learned that the creator of the Hostel franchise, director, producer, and occasional actor (Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds) is in talks to go back behind the camera for a Warner Bros project in development to star Russell Crowe. That’s right, Crowe is now attached. But not to play the role of Harker in the spec script by Lee Shipman & Brian McGreevy that’s a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Instead, I’ve learned that Crowe is attached to play Dracula who is tracked by Jonathan Harker, a Scotland Yard detective. Hmm, Crowe as Dracula: cool, huh? Crowe is only on board for the first film, but the script sets up the sleuth as a potential new franchise character. Harker is as yet uncast — and boy, is that a juicy role for a leading man. “Once they figure out the story then they’ll figure out who’s right to play him,” a source says. Crowe and Roth worked together on the upcoming RZA-directed actioner, The Man With The Iron Fists, which stars Crowe in Roth’s script. Roth also produced the Universal film with Quentin Tarantino and others.
When Warner Bros acquired Harker in February 2011, the director attached was Unknown‘s Jaume Collet-Serra. But the studio asked Collet-Serra to oversee Akira until the film based on the anime classic was shelved for cost reasons. Now Collet-Serra is one busy Spaniard and among other projects helming another Joel Silver film with … Read More »
Eli Roth has recently been producing, writing and acting, but The Green Inferno will mark his return behind the camera after his last feature as director, 2007′s Hostel: Part II. Worldview Entertainment has boarded the horror thriller to finance and produce. Roth just finished starring in Nicolás López’ earthquake thriller Aftershock and wrote the screenplay for Green Inferno with that film’s co-writer Guillermo Amoedo. The story, based on an idea of Roth’s, is being kept under wraps, but he says it was inspired by filming in Chile. He’ll also produce the film alongside Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow and Molly Conners and Sobras International producers Miguel Asensio Llamas and Nicolás Lopez. Production starts in the fall in Peru and Chile. Exclusive Media is launching sales here in Cannes with CAA handling domestic. Worldview’s Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich and Hoyt David Morgan will executive produce.
The man who brought the tourism horror of Hostel to the big screen is bringing a whole new type of fright to Sin City. Eli Roth’s Goretorium haunted house is scheduled to open on September 27 in Las Vegas, right in time for Halloween. “Horror fans know that with my name on it,” Roth told Deadline, “it won’t be for little kids. They know it will be a very scary experience.” Aiming to tap into the $7 billion a year Halloween industry, the 24/7 all year round mult-leveled Goretorium, situated at the corner of Strip and Harmon in Vegas, aspires to become “the world mecca for horror fans,” says Roth. Last year, Roth’s Hostel maze was the one of the most highly attended attractions at Universal Horror Nights. Roth, who’s heading off to Pennsylvania next week to start shooting his Netflix mystery series Hemlock Grove, says he’s already had pre-opening offers to franchise the Goretorium in London, Tokyo and New York, as well as elsewhere in America.
Netflix Nears Order For Eli Roth Horror Drama ‘Hemlock Grove’ From Gaumont TV
BEVERLY HILLS, CA. — March 21, 2012 — “Hemlock Grove,” a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town, starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard and produced by Gaumont International Television, will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly, beginning early in 2013.
“Hemlock Grove” starts with the body of a young girl, mangled and murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be Peter, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells his classmates he’s a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove.
As the crime goes unsolved and outlandish rumors mount, Peter and Roman decide to find the killer themselves, confronting unspeakable truths about themselves and Hemlock Grove as the mystery unfolds.
“Eli Roth is a master of this genre and Brian McGreevy’s brilliant novel gives Roth a world where he can create his magic,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “‘Hemlock Grove’ is a sly blend of J.D. Salinger and Mary Shelley and will appeal to a broad base of fans captivated by these rich characters and stunning visuals.”
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