Genre label IFC Midnight has acquired U.S. rights to Inner Demons, a possession tale about an Intervention-style reality TV crew filming a 16-year-old (Lara Vosburgh) fighting addiction who actually might be possessed by a demon. Director Seth Grossman has some expertise in the area; he was a producer on A&E’s popular series Intervention. Morgan McClellan, Colleen McGrann, Kate Whitney and Brian Flaherty also star in the pic scripted by Glenn Gers and produced by Robin Schorr, which premiered at the LA Film Festival in June. Arianna Bocco and Sean Berney negotiated the deal for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Josh Braun of Submarine and Linda Lichter of Lichter Grossman Nichols Adler and Feldman on behalf of the filmmakers.
Hey Tom Cruise, Johnny Carson, George Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Channing Tatum And Others: SAG Owes You Money But Can’t Find You
EXCLUSIVE: The Screen Actors Guild exists to collect wages and benefits and disperse them to dues-paying members, but a Deadline investigation begs a multimillion-dollar question: Why are so many living and deceased thesps owed unclaimed residual checks worth $40 million, money that is drawing interest for the union’s general fund? The roll call of Who’s Owed is a Hollywood Who’s Who, including more than 75 Oscar-winning actors or their estates and dozens of Emmy winners who likely are unaware they are owed residuals. A union spokesperson tells Deadline the union is working to locate those members, but it is difficult because people change agents and don’t notify the union, or they move and mailed checks are returned by the post office and never cashed.
Still, could it really be that hard to find some of these performers? Deadline found that if you threw a rock on the red carpet of any major industry event, chances are you’d hit somebody SAG owes money to.
Like: reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, David O. Russell, and former Oscar host Steve Martin. Or Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Jodie Foster, Warren Beatty, Jay Leno, Sally Field, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer, Channing Tatum, James Franco, Jim Carrey, Sharon Stone, Owen Wilson, Justin Timberlake, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Zac Efron and Andrew Garfield.
The music side of the ledger of Who’s Owed reads like a wing …
UPDATE: Looks like I was premature in describing this as a sex tape movie. CBS Films informs me that yeah, there is a tape that circulates from a bachelor party that is the propulsion for the guys going to wilderness camp. But the guys in it keep their clothes on and merely act like complete doofuses and off they go to learn some street smarts. So the sex tape analogy has no staying power. Sorry about that.
EARLIER: While the rest of us will wait till the weekend climaxes to see if the Sony Pictures comedy Sex Tape measures up, others seem sold on the concept. CBS Films ends the week acquiring Man Up, a comedy that has Zac Levi attached to star and Hall Pass scribes Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett writing. The log line: after a video of a disastrous and embarrassing bachelor party goes viral, four metro-sexual guys decide to go to survival camp and learn how to man up. Pic’s based on an idea by Levi.
Nicky Weinstock is producing with Levi. Invention Films’ Whitney Thomas will be exec producer. Levi recently starred in Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakwel, lent his voice to Tangled, and was seen in Thor: The Dark World. CAA and Peter Principato rep Levi, Pappas and Barnett are at CAA with Jeff Okin at Anonymous.
TCA: Bravo Renews ‘Million Dollar Listing New York’, Orders San Francisco Spinoff, 2 Other Series, Sets Premiere Date For ‘Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce’
On the heels of Million Dollar Listing New York landing a best reality program Emmy nomination, the series has been renewed for a fourth season. It is one of two renewals at Bravo, along with Southern Charm for Season 2. Additionally the network is expanding the popular Million Dollar Listing franchise to a fourth city, greenlighting Million Dollar Listing San Francisco. It is one of theree new unscripted series picked up by Bravo, along with There Goes the Motherhood, about a high-end mommy and me group in Los Angeles, and Secrets & Wives, about a wealthy group of friends and rivals. That brings Bravo’s 2014 slate to 19 new and 20 returning series. Additionally, the network has set a Dec. 2 premiere date for uts first original scripted series, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. Here are details on Bravo’s newly picked up series:
The planned Lifetime biopic of late singer Aaliyah is on hold after Disney star Zendaya pulled out of the project, the network announced in a brief tweet from its PR wing (and retweet from @LifetimeTV):
We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.
— LifetimePR (@LifetimeTV_PR) June 29, 2014
The project was to be the third in a string of tragic music biopics that Lifetime had lined up, after ones focusing on Whitney Houston and TLC star Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, both female singers who died young. In the case of Aaliyah, the R&B star was killed at age 22 in a plane crash as she was returning to the U.S. after recording a music video in the Bahamas. The movie was to be based on a bestselling book, Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by former Time magazine music editor Christopher Farley. The movie, with the working title of Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B, was to be filmed this summer, with a fall premiere scheduled.
Niko Pepaj has joined MTV’s Awkward as a recurring guest star. On the comedy, which has its midseason finale Tuesday, he will play Sergio, a confident and unflappable young man who works with Sadie (Molly Tarlov) on the food truck. Pepaj recurred on the ABC Family ballet dramedy Bunheads, and other TV credits include The Protector and the MTV telefilm My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3. He next appears in The 420 Movie: Mary And Jane. Pepaj is repped by BCH Entertainment and JKA Talent Agency.
And three makes a trend: Lifetime announced today that Disney star Zendaya will play the late R&B star Aaliyah in a biopic about the singer, who died in a plane crash at age 22. Based on the bestseller Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by former Time magazine music editor Christopher Farley, Aaliyah: Princess Of R&B (wt), will be filmed this summer and premiere in the fall.
Three weeks ago, the network announced it had greenlighted a biopic on Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, at age 48, while prepping in the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel for a pre-Grammy party. Both Lifetime biopics about female R&B/pop singers who died young follow VH1′s October premiere of its gone-too-soon movie CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, detailing the fatal blow to TLC caused by the sudden death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes at 30. That one clocked a hefty 4.5 million viewers in its unveiling.
Lifetime has greenlighted Whitney Houston (working title), an original movie about the tragic music superstar who died in 2012. Helmed by Angela Bassett in her directorial debut, Whitney Houston is set for a 2015 premiere. It chronicles the tumultuous relationship between Houston and singer-songwriter Bobby Brown — from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity through their courtship and rocky marriage, all during Whitney’s meteoric rise as a singer, actress and model. “I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments, and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all.” Produced by The Sanitsky Co., Whitney Houston comes from executive producer Larry Sanitsky and writer Shem Bitterman, the team behind Lifetime’s 2013 movie Betty & Coretta. That telepic told the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige).
Remember a few years back, when NBC didn’t want to play in the Upfront Week sandbox and did not believe in the TV season? That was before it unexpectedly found itself in first place for a TV season…..
10:59 AM: Network execs, Mad Ave suits and The Reporters Who Cover Television have been baking in the sun for an hour, as they wait to get in to the Javits Center.
11:15 AM: Seth Meyers kicks things off, noting NBC’s upfront taking place “at the Javits Center in the heart of New York’s historical Stabbing District. What it lacks in charm it more than makes up for in size. They say it’s so big it can fit every person who watched an episode of Ironside….”
“The Upfront: NBC’s longest-running show. ”
“NBC’s biggest hit of last year, The Blacklist is returning for a second season. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s about the people Donald Sterling doesn’t want coming to the Clippers game.”
“It’s much better to have a show be a smash that be called Smash.”
“Ukraine will appear on the next season of The Biggest Loser.”
“Some of you came with a taxi today, some took the subway. I rode in on Jimmy Fallon ‘s coattails.”
“I am honored to be hosting the Emmys in August. The Emmys will be held on a Monday this year for the first itme since 1976,” he said, saying he was looking forward to the inevitable news release from NBC the next day boasting “The Emmys scores its highest Monday rating since 1977.”
11:30 AM: NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt says he won’t make any Javits Center jokes because Meyers covered it. “The good news is… we are no longer at Hilton ballroom.” Some of you there…actually come long way since then… We’re no. 1 — you’re going to hear it a lot more…
NBC set a date for its Maya Rudolph variety special/pilot. Revisiting the variety-show format, The Maya Rudolph Show special will air at 10 PM Monday, May 19. Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae will appear; Raphael Saadiq serves as bandleader. Rudolph, David Javerbaum, Erin David and Dave Becky will produce, with Lorne Michaels serving as executive producer. When the NBC comedy series Up All Night — in which Rudolph co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, did not go forward with the planned multi-camera revamp in February — Rudolph informed studios and networks that she wanted to do a variety show. NBC was among several suitors that began pursuing the project, leading to the pilot order. This marks the latest collaboration between Rudolph and Michaels, who also produced Up All Night. Rudolph, daughter of the late soul singer Minnie Riperton, was one of SNL‘s most popular cast members of the past decade. Her seven-year stint produced a string of memorable impersonations and original characters that often included music performances, including her recurring gigs as Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand.
Leslie Odom Jr. (Smash) has joined the cast of NBC‘s drama pilot State Of Affairs. It stars Katherine Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Odom, repped by BRS/Gage and manager Joan Sittenfield, plays Mitchell Manning, Chief of Staff to the President of the U.S. He recurs on Person of Interest and Law & Order: SVU.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Actress-comedian-writer Rebecca Corry has has been cast in NBC‘s multi-camera pilot One Big Happy. Written by Liz Feldman and directed by Scott Ellis, it centers on two platonic friends since childhood — a lesbian, Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert), and her straight male best friend, Luke (Nick Zano) — who have been living together and trying to have a baby via artificial insemination. They finally get pregnant, just as Luke meets and impulsively marries the love of his life. Corry, repped by Prestige Talent Agency, will play Lizzy’s older sister Leisha, married with an “oops” baby that doesn’t stop her from being a bit of a wild child herself.
Sheila Vand (Argo) has booked the female lead opposite Katherine Heigl in NBC drama pilot State Of Affairs. It stars Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Heigl also exec produces. Vand, repped by Paradigm and Untitled, will play Grace Hough, a tough CIA analyst on the President’s daily briefing team, who keeps her private life to herself. Vand starred in indie pic A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
The Daily Show alum Jason Jones has been tapped for the male lead in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Love Is Relative from writer Dan Mazer, 20th TV, Tom Werner and Tom Lassally. It revolves around a wife (Leslie Bibb) and husband who begin to see their marriage in a whole new way after her newly divorced brother, Josh (Barry Rothbart), moves in. Jones will play Nate, Rose’s (Bibb) husband and father of 6-year-old Maggie and 18-month-old Dylan.
Danny Huston (X Men Origins: Wolverine) is set for the male lead opposite Ashley Judd in NBC’s drama pilot Salvation, written by Elizabeth Heldens and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, while Adam Kaufman (Altered) has nabbed the male lead on another NBC pilot, Katherine Heigl-produced State Of Affairs. In Salvation, mega-church pastor Daniel Strickland suddenly dies, and his loyal wife, Jennifer Strickland (Judd), must rally to keep their family together and save the church. Huston, repped by ICM Partners, UK’s Julian Belfrage & Associates and attorney David Fox, will play Caleb, the lead pastor at a rival mega-church. He will next be seen in a 3-episode arc on Showtime’s Masters Of Sex.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Drama pilot State Of Affairs stars Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Kaufman, repped by SDB Partners and Luber Roklin Entertainment, will play Lucas Wright, a CIA analyst on the President’s daily briefing team.
A Journalist’s Plea On 10th Anniversary Of ‘The Passion Of The Christ’: Hollywood, Take Mel Gibson Off Your Blacklist
How ironic is it that Hollywood studios walk on eggshells with faith-based groups hoping their religious epics like Noah do a fraction of the business Mel Gibson did with The Passion Of The Christ, while those studios continue to shun Gibson like a leper? What better way to commemorate Passion‘s 10th anniversary than journalist Allison Hope Weiner‘s examination of her relationship with Gibson and how it evolved from harsh coverage to the point where she feels strongly enough about his good qualities and recovery to urge Hollywood to consider giving him another chance. Weiner has written about Gibson for Deadline before, as well as The New York Times and other national magazines. – MF
It has been a decade since Mel Gibson made The Passion Of The Christ and watched it become the biggest-grossing independent film with $612 million in worldwide ticket sales. In the years that followed, Gibson made several comments that went public, made him seem anti-Semitic and racist. They made him persona non grata at major studios and agencies, the same ones that work with others who’ve committed felonies and done things far more serious than Gibson, who essentially used his tongue as a lethal weapon. As a journalist who vilified Gibson in The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly until my coverage allowed me to get to know him, I want to make the case here that it is time for those Hollywood agencies and studios to end their quiet blacklisting of Mel Gibson. Once Hollywood’s biggest movie star whose film Braveheart won five Oscars and whose collective box office totals $3.6 billion, Gibson hasn’t been directly employed by a studio since Passion Of The Christ was released in 2004.
The Gibson I’ve come to know isn’t a man who’ll shout from the rooftops that he’s not anti-Semitic, or hold a press conference to tell media those audiotapes were released as part of a shakedown, and that he never assaulted the mother of his infant daughter. He won’t explain to people that he first got himself into a career spiral because he’s a long struggling alcoholic who fell off the wagon and spewed hateful anti-Semitic remarks to an arresting officer who was Jewish. He won’t tell you that he’s still got a lot to offer Hollywood as a filmmaker.
The fact that he won’t jump to his own defense is part of his problem, but also part of why I have grown to respect him. That is why on the occasion of this 10th anniversary of Passion, a film about an innocent man’s willingness to forgive the greatest injustice, I propose to Hollywood that it’s time to forgive Mel Gibson. He has been in the doghouse long enough. It’s time to give the guy another chance.
Lionsgate has come on to develop Epic Fail, a comedy from producer Nicky Weinstock and Ed Helms, who co-developed the original idea. Helms is now attached to star in the pic, which centers on an elite but unorthodox Special Forces team that takes their dysfunction and excessive firepower on a desperate mission to save America — led by the only soldier more badass and more mustachioed than a Navy SEAL: The Walrus.
Mike Arnold and Chris Poole will pen the screenplay. The duo has several scripts in development including the Black List script The Grackle. Weinstock is producing via his Invention Films banner along with Helms and Michael Falbo’s Pacific Electric Picture Company shingle. Invention’s Whitney Thomas will executive produce. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig, Matthew Janzen and James Myers will oversee for the studio.
Helms, Arnold and Poole are repped by CAA and Principato Young.
Charlie’s Angels alumna Annie Ilonzeh is set as a regular in the NBC drama pilot Coercion, based on an Israeli format. The high-octane thriller revolves around the O’Connor family and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a decorated American war hero and CIA analyst. Unbeknownst to him, both of his parents and his sister are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated. Ilonzeh, repped by APA and Vincent Cirrincione Associates, plays Julia, a no-nonsense Special Agent with the FBI assigned to work closely with Alex. She has recurred on Arrow and Drop Dead Diva.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Chicago-based theater actor Cliff Chamberlain has been cast in NBC drama pilot State of Affairs, which stars Katherine Heigl as Charleston Whitney Tucker, a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. Chamberlain, repped by Innovative and Brillstein Entertainment, will play Brett Welker, a quirky CIA linguist.