Marvel said today that Drew Goddard will write and direct the first episode of Daredevil, the Marvel Television series that will air on Netflix in 2015 as part of a wide-ranging live-action deal between those companies. He will stay on as showrunner/executive producer of the 13-episode series, one of four in the works under the deal including projects on fellow Marvel characters Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. The deal was expected. Goddard’s credits include writing Cloverfield, co-writing and directing Cabin In The Woods and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and he adapted the Robopocalypse pic that’s on hold at DreamWorks. He and Lost cohort Damon Lindelof came aboard toward the end of writing the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z to forge a new ending to the zombie pic.
Netflix Picks Up Four Marvel Live-Action Series & A Mini Featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage For 2015 Launch
The companies call this an “unprecedented deal” and “Marvel‘s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.” Disney will provide Netflix with live action series and a miniseries featuring Marvel characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage set in the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to at least four, 13-episode series over “multiple years,” beginning in 2015, culminating with a miniseries, The Defenders, that “reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.” The arrangement, which involves some 60 episodes produced by Marvel TV and ABC Studios, grew out of the deal that will give Netflix exclusive rights to Disney films in the premium TV window beginning in 2016. It is “unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling,” says Marvel Entertainment President Alan Fine. Also unprecedented was the secrecy surrounding the package. As we reported last month, breaking the news of Marvel shopping the four series and mini to Netflix and a couple of other VOD and cable players, no one was allowed to breathe a word, with the seller, all potential buyers and everyone else involved allegedly bound by strict confidentiality agreements. Committing to 60 episodes off the bat is a big undertaking but would help a new to scripted programming player like Netflix that is looking to quickly build up a slate and want to capitalize on the Marvel brand. Said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, “Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels.” There had been talk of another Daredevil movie while Marvel TV first developed Jessica Jones as a series for ABC but it didn’t move past the development stage. The company’s first live-action series for Disney, ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., premiered this fall and has been picked up for a full season. It has been a very strong performer in DVR/steaming viewing, hinting at the potential of other Marvel series on a service like Netflix. Here’s the release on the deal, brokered by CAA:
The blogosphere is going wild as Marvel chief Kevin Feige does interviews for Iron Man 3 and acknowledges that Daredevil has returned to the Marvel fold at Disney. We told you this was going to happen last August, when a last ditch attempt to shape a movie with Joe Carnahan cratered. Ben Affleck starred in the original film, and he’s doing way more interesting things now as a writer/director/actor/producer. Without him, it was pretty clear that Fox wasn’t confident about bankrolling a superhero-sized movie based on the character and that the brass at the studio wasn’t at all upset about coming out on the losing end of the witching hour of when Marvel and Disney got back those rights. The intrigue will be to see if Marvel vamps the blind lawyer character, and whether he begins showing up in other superhero movies and maybe a sequel to The Avengers. They certainly have made The Hulk viable after he was pretty much thought to be dead as disco. Here’s what we said last August:
Director Joe Carnahan seems to be ready to toss in the towel on the last ditch attempt to reboot the Marvel superhero Daredevil before Fox’s rights to the franchise expire this fall. Carnahan sent out a tweet today saying, “I think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.”
From what I’m hearing, that means that Fox, which made the original …
BREAKING: Director Joe Carnahan seems to be ready to toss in the towel on the last ditch attempt to reboot the Marvel superhero Daredevil before Fox’s rights to the franchise expire this fall. Carnahan sent out a tweet today saying, “I think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.”
From what I’m hearing, that means that Fox, which made the original Daredevil movie that starred Ben Affleck, is prepared to see the rights to that character revert back to Marvel Studios, and fall under the Disney umbrella. Marvel essentially said no to an extension and to Fox’s request that it come aboard as cofinancier of the Daredevil film. Deadline revealed back at Comic-Con that Fox had a problem with a ticking rights clock that would expire in October, something that became an issue after David Slade bailed on the project after he committed to direct the Hannibal pilot. Fox wasn’t too upset by all this, because the studio was lukewarm on making the movie.
It is certainly possible that Carnahan, who’s coming off The Grey, will get the chance to make his gritty blind lawyer-turned crime fighter Matt Murdock/Daredevil at Disney. But it will be Kevin Feige’s decision. As for Fox, the studio will focus on the forward moving Marvel projects Fantastic Four, which is being rebooted, and X-Men: First Class and
Comic-Con: Fox Sets Reboots Of ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Daredevil’ (Minus David Slade), Puts Joe Cornish On ‘Rust’
* Fox has officially set Chronicle helmer Josh Trank to direct the reboot of Fantastic Four, and the film will be the next Marvel property to be slated for production and dated for release by the studio. Fantastic Four, which will include a new cast, falls into line after The Wolverine sequel that starts production shortly, and the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men: First Class, which is also on a fast track. After Trank’s breakthrough with the Fox sleeper hit Chronicle he has been offered everything and attached himself to several projects. But I’m told that Fox expects Fantastic Four to be the next film he directs. It’s scripted by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who also wrote X-Men: First Class and Thor.
* Fox has set Attack The Block helmer Joe Cornish to direct Rust, an E.T.-style story scripted by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the Royden Lepp novel about a struggling farm family and the mysterious robot that shows up and changes their lives. The film is a sci-fi adventure aimed at a family audience, and …
EXCLUSIVE: Not every viable Marvel Comics hero is in The Avengers. 20th Century Fox is revving a reboot of Daredevil, and the studio is setting David James Kelly to rewrite of the script, for David Slade to direct. The 30 Days of Night and Twilight Saga: Eclipse helmer became attached last year, and reports have the studio working off the Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli story arc Born Again, as The Kingpin uncovers the superhero’s secret identity, and uses it to turn blind lawyer Matt Murdoch’s life upside down. Fox, which also has the X-Men franchise and its spinoffs, also has Chronicle helmer Josh Trank working on a reboot of Fantastic Four. Kelly is repped by WME.
It will be a continuation of the story started with the 2003 film starring Ben Affleck as the blind superhero. That film, which was based on the Marvel comic, grossed $179M worldwide. Chernin Entertainment is producing the new pic. Slade is no stranger to genre films, having directed last year’s Twilight film Eclipse and the vampire thriller 30 Days of Night.
For Playboy‘s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. Naturally, the first topic on the menu was his surprise decision to become the latest in a long line of actors to play the Caped Crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. At the time we met, Affleck was watching as the Internet exploded negatively to his Bat-candidacy. Having weathered career hardship before and come back stronger for it, Affleck was unconcerned by the Bat-zealots who actually started online petitions against him.
EXCLUSIVE: Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg first was tapped to create a drama series based on Marvel‘s Jessica Jones character three years ago, when the project was set at ABC. In typical Marvel fashion, no one is confirming, but I have learned that Rosenberg is attached to the project’s new incarnation at Netflix as writer and executive producer. Jessica Jones is one of four series Marvel TV and ABC TV Studios sold to the streaming giant in a deal announced last week. Jessica Jones is slated second for release, following Daredevil, which is close to locking in Lost alum Drew Goddard as writer/exec producer. The other two Marvel series in the package are Iron Fist and Luke Cage, with the characters from each show then coming together for an Avengers-type superhero teaming in a chapter-closing miniseries. I hear Jessica Jones is undergoing redevelopment in its move to Netflix. The character, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, is a superhero suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, which leads to her hanging up her costume and opening her own detective agency, where she ends up helping people and assisting other superheroes. Rosenberg most recently executive produced ABC’s drama series Red Widow.
Related: Bob Iger Talks Up Marvel-Netflix …
The Marvel characters to be featured on Netflix in the four-series deal the companies announced today are “not among the most popular,” Disney CEO Bob Iger just told analysts. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage ”were never going to become feature films.” But that could change if the shows planned for the streaming service catch on. That makes the agreement “great for Netflix” — and opens “a great opportunity for Marvel to create more brand value…There are more opportunities beyond our platform to produce product for.”
The Disney chief also urged investors not to fret about the long time it’s taking for the entertainment giant to work out a new program carriage deal with Dish Network. The companies agreed to keep talking — without any programming black out — at the end of September when their previous agreement expired. “Progress is being made,” Iger says. Still, a deal “could take some time.” That’s because the negotiations are less about the price for carrying traditional TV channels than they are about the fees and conditions for Dish to stream
Nicky, the half-hour project from Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin and their longtime friend Nick Zano, has sold to CBS with a script commitment. The comedy, co-written and to star Zano, was set up at Warner Bros TV in June. Comedy veterans Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen (Rules Of Engagement) have come on board to co-write with Zano the project, based on Zano’s experiences being raised in a multi-generational house of seven women in New Jersey. He will play 30-year old Nicky, who is trying to finally move out of the house only to realize he needs to stay and help raise his youngest sister. Tatum and Carolin will executive produce through their production company, marking the duo’s first foray into TV series, along with Reich and Cohen, while Zano will co-executive produce.
The Tannenbaum Co. Sells Drama Penned By Mark Steven Johnson To CBS, Comedy Starring Bert Kreischer To NBC
Feature writer-director Mark Steven Johnson is venturing into TV with Generation Next, a drama project at CBS from CBS TV Studios and studio-based The Tannenbaum Co. It is one of two new sales for Eric and Kim Tannenbaum’s company, along with a comedy starring comedian Bert Kreischer, which has landed at NBC with a script commitment plus penalty.
Johnson’s Generation Next is set a year after a deadly outbreak caused ordinary citizens to fly into a mindless rage. After a cure is discovered, these “Carriers” are finally allowed to return to society, and to solve crimes committed by or against the infected, the Infectious Crimes Department is formed. This marks a rare foray into television for Johnson, who created the Grumpy Old Man franchise and wrote and directed Ghost Rider and Daredevil. He is repped by Resolution, Gotham Group and Hirsch Wallerstein.
The Bert Kreischner project centers on Bert (Kreischner), who has been known as a legendary party animal for two decades. Now, at age 40, he has to decide if it is finally time to grow up. The Tannenbaum Co. is co-producing with Levity Entertainment; Shane Kosakowski & Franklin Hardy are writing the script and co-executive producing, with Kreischer serving as producer. This marks one of the biggest sales outside CBS for CBS Studios, which this season began actively taking projects to …
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel, which snared 13 million viewers in June when it telecast Nick Wallenda slowly walking a wire across the Colorado River Gorge while conducting a running dialogue with God and Jesus, will premiere a docu on the controversial life of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel on October 14. True Evel traces Knievel’s early childhood in Butte, MT, and rise from simple stunt man to American brand, inspiring countless entertainers, a line of toys and even a Marvel Comic by harnessing the power of publicity and marketing with outlandish stunts. The one-hour special will use archival footage and interviews with family, friends and colleagues to document his rise from small-town fairs to sold-out stadiums and infamous jumps, such as the one over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, winding up with his final, penniless days. The man marketed as an American hero had another side, Discovery says. “He would [tell] kids — study, go to school, get good grades, treat your mom and dad right,” motorcycle racing star Skip Van Leeuwen says in the docu. “Two hours later, he’d be chasing 15 girls naked around his boat. It was nuts.” True Evel is produced for Discovery Channel by Kowalski TV. Craig Coffman serves as executive producer for Discovery.
OPINION: I was as surprised as anyone when Ben Affleck was named the new Batman by Warner Bros. While I know I will be incurring the Wrath of Khan from a certain segment of Deadline readers for saying this, I do not share the alarm expressed by just about all 300+ Deadline commenters who’ve condemned the move and feel it’s awful for Affleck, Warner Bros, and humanity as a whole.
This is the biggest Affleck surprise I can recall since I saw Gone Baby Gone and was surprised to see that he was a helluva filmmaker. I guess what I’m saying is, Affleck has earned some rope from us; he knows what he is doing. I know he’s read the script, and he loves the concept. After watching Robert Downey Jr unexpectedly (at the time) establish himself as a global superstar after he auditioned for and won over Marvel for Iron Man, I see a lot of upside for Affleck to bolster his global viability, without a lot of career risk. This is a giant coup for the fledgling Greg Silverman-Sue Kroll regime at Warner Bros. Not only in their effort to create global hits, but also in their effort to strengthen studio ties to Affleck after the turbulent exit of Jeff Robinov (who’ll be looking to bring guys like Affleck over if and when he ever takes the top film job at Fox).
Even though I couldn’t understand all of the gravelly dialogue lines he delivered from beneath the Batmask, Christian Bale’s three turns as the Caped Crusader gave him global cred. They didn’t discount his other screen performances, either. That’s because, like Affleck and Downey, Bale wasn’t a newcomer when he took the job (newbies from George Reeves to Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh seem to get imprinted by the role and disappear after). His Batman persona also didn’t stop Oscar voters from giving Bale the trophy for his performance in The Fighter.
Affleck isn’t the same guy he was when he made 2003′s Daredevil, or when he hurt his career by starring with off-screen squeeze Jennifer Lopez in Gigli. After that, he smartly worked his tail off to write his career a second act as a writer-director who stars in his own films. That is his identity now. He’s the guy who directed, produced and starred in the reigning Best Picture Oscar winner Argo, and he has The Town and Gone Baby Gone under his belt. Name another filmmaker outside of Christopher Nolan whose last three films stack up with that kind of quality? Even if he moonlights as Batman, it doesn’t change that true identity. And I thought he did a great job acting in Argo and The Town.
Also, those painful career lessons made Affleck shrewdly selective. If this works, he will have created a great role he can return to in between his directorial outings, the same way that Downey will do for future Avengers installments. Affleck won’t have to carry these movies himself, and I’d be surprised if he made a freestanding Batfilm.
I have been waiting for Warner Bros to turn a corner with its DC Comics crimefighter universe, beyond Batman and Superman. They’ve taken a step in that direction even if it is by combining those two characters. Now, they have a bona fide leading man in the fold (because Henry Cavill could not pack a movie house right now if he wasn’t wearing the red cape). Suddenly, the next step, the inevitable Justice League film, looks intriguing and I bet more big names will enlist by the time that movie gets made. Sure, I’d feel better if Nolan was still steering it all, but a lot of people liked Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. The DC franchise effort seems to be in good hands. And imagine if Affleck really likes the job enough to rescind his previous pass and direct that Justice League movie?
Ben Affleck To Play Batman In Warner Bros’ Batman-Superman Pic; Studio Sets July 17, 2015 Release Date
Ben Affleck has two Oscars; now he’s getting a cape. Hot off a Best Picture win for his period thriller Argo, Affleck is stepping back in front of the camera to play Batman in Warner Bros‘ untitled sequel to Man Of Steel, which will bring the crimefighter together with Superman in a feature for the first time. The casting further solidifies Affleck’s relationship with Warners, which released Argo and is behind his next directorial effort Live By Night. Affleck’s July casting in David Fincher’s Gone Girl for Fox meant that Warners was allowing him to push back Live By Night, which he also stars in and is continuing to prep. The actor-filmmaker had been tight with Jeff Robinov, who left his post as Warner Brothers Pictures Group President in June after Kevin Tsujihara got the studio’s top job. When rumors of Robinov’s departure first surfaced, Affleck told Deadline’s Nikki Finke: “On the record, I don’t know what I would do if Jeff weren’t there. I don’t know from my view anyone else there who knows how to make movies. I would like to support him.”
Man Of Steel director Zack Snyder is expected to reimagine the Batman character, whose pairing with Superman he announced at Comic-Con last month. Snyder said he won’t be drawing from the Dark Knight series. “I’ve pored through the DC universe for a way to tell this thing,” he said. Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite Man Of Steel stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. David S. Goyer, who scripted the first film and worked on the Dark Knight trilogy, will pen the sequel. Warner Bros has set the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.
The Toronto International Film Festival has set its list of 70 gala and premiere screenings, and not surprisingly it includes many of the films that figure to factor in the Oscar discussion. This includes 12 Years A Slave to August: Osage County, Rush, Labor Day, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Parkland, Dallas Buyers Club, Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D thriller Gravity and Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis 3 film Devil’s Knot. There will be plenty of starpower, including actors-turned first time directors Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon), Keanu Reeves (Man Of Tai Chi), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch), as well as Coriolanus helmer Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman).
The festival generally provides a mix of those films as well as acquisition titles that usually get released next year. Also on the list is the opening night film, the Bill Condon-directed The Fifth Estate, the DreamWorks drama about polarizing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Here’s the list made official this morning by Toronto Fest organizers:
Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, unveiled the first round of titles set to premiere in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival®.
“This first round of films offers a taste of the powerhouse lineup at this year’s Festival,” said Handling. “These are
Television takes the spotlight on Day 4 of Comic-Con 2013. Highlights of the just-unveiled Sunday schedule include panel presentations and sneak peeks at The CW‘s Supernatural, NBC‘s Community, Under The Dome, FX‘s Sons Of Anarchy, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Vince Gilligan and stars will be on hand to fete AMC‘s Breaking Bad as it heads into its final eight episodes. And Matt Smith, whose departure from BBC‘s Doctor Who was announced last month, will be on hand for the show’s panel. Here’s the full Sunday line-up:
Comic-Con‘s just-announced Day 3 schedule will see many of the San Diego convention’s biggest panels for film and TV, including presentations of Marvel Studios‘ Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. WB and Legendary are also rolling deep with their slate of upcoming genre titles, including Godzilla, Seventh Son, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Gravity, and The LEGO Movie.
Related: Comic-Con: Legendary Bringing ‘Godzilla’ And ‘Seventh Son’ To Confab
On the TV side, The CW‘s bringing the familiar and the new to Comic-Con. They’ll preview The Vampire Diaries and Arrow along with TVD spin-off The Originals and new series The Tomorrow People. Fans will also get peeks at A&E’s Bates Motel, HBO‘s True Blood, and NBC‘s Grimm and Revolution, along with a look at the upcoming Dracula. Here’s the full Saturday schedule
Opening-day highlights abound, including a 10th anniversary tribute to The Walking Dead comic with writer Robert Kirkman, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone discussing their upcoming video game South Park: The Stick of Truth, and a panel titled Video Games to Movies: Is The Golden Age Upon Us?
There’s lots of TV in the Thursday spotlight, including sessions dedicated to such shows as Dexter, Sherlock — sans stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman — the 35th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica and Annoying Orange. Among the dozens of panels are several geared toward making it in the business, including Marvel: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way, The Secrets of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Writer’s Journey: Breaking Into Hollywood and Comic Scriptwriting, Breaking Into Comics and Staying In, and Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101. There also are programs on such potentially intriguing topics as Toys 101: An Evolution of the Modern Action Figure, The Legendary Animators of Classic ’60s Cartoons, Video Gaming: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We’re Going, and – especially — Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry in a Zombie Apocalypse.
See the complete opening-day rundown after the jump: