Discovery Upfront Presentation Returns Spotlight To Non-Fiction

PrintThis was a subtle contrast to last year when the company also highlighted scripted fare and trotted out a parade of celebrities including Mariel Hemingway, Morgan Freeman, William Hurt, LaToya Jackson, and NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. Filmmaker Ron Howard was perhaps the biggest new name showing up this year: He told Discovery advertisers that New Form — the online content production venture he and Brian Grazer are launching with the Winter TCA Tour Discoverypay TV company — expects to “generate great scripted programming for today’s digital viewers.” They’re already weighing “several series” as they delve into “shortform content and all its possibilities.” Howard also intends to encourage other creative types to “bring their talent to New Form.” Oprah Winfrey returned, of course, to promote OWN. With its recent ratings success, “no one is happier than we are right now about what is happening to OWN.” She says the network is heading toward its “next evolution” with its first original scripted movie with Toni Braxton playing legendary studio singer Darlene Love, the focus of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. She also brought out Tyler Perry for a second year; he talked up his soap opera The Haves And The Have Nots

Related: Discovery Channel Unveils New Slate

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Disney To Film Marvel Series For Netflix In New York As Part Of Multimillion-Dollar Incentive Package

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 11:28am EST

New York was “our first choice” to film four NYC-based Marvel “Defenders” series and a miniseries planned for Netflix beginning in 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger said today during a press event in NY announcing the deal.disney-logo__130110173452-200x133 But the Empire State’s taxpayers had to help seal the deal for what officials say is the biggest film or TV production commitment ever for New York: The state provided the entertainment giant with undisclosed breaks and incentives estimated at $4M for MarvelNYCthe project that’s projected to create 3,000 jobs including 400 full time ones in the Big Apple. They’ll work on 52 one-hour live action episodes and a miniseries built around Marvel characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage in what Disney calls “the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.” Taxpayers had to sweeten the terms for Disney because there was “a lot of competition from different cities” to land the production, Iger says. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the commitment is “exciting,” and a win for his efforts to broaden the economic base which heavily depends on financial institutions. The economic downturn in 2008 “was a wake-up call for the state of New York…you have to diversify,” he said at announcement with Iger. The Disney chief says that no decision has been made with Netflix about whether the series’ episodes will be released all at once or individually.

Here’s the release from Disney and New York state: Read More »

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Fox Has Its ‘Fantastic Four’ For Superhero Reboot

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 9:49pm PST

fantastic-four_1791685bFox recently cleared some prime summer 2015 real estate for its reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, now it appears to have its actors. After a long search — Chronicle‘s Josh Trank was announced as the director at the 2012 Comic-Con — Fruitvale Station breakout Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller (Divergent), Kate Mara (Transcendence) and Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) are working on deals to star as the ’60s-spawned superhero quartet. The 20th_century_fox_logodeals aren’t in cement yet, but Jordan and Bell look pretty solid. The roles as they stand would be Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Mara as Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Bell as Ben Grimm (the Thing). The latest script is from X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg.

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Discovery To Air Leap Off Mount Everest In May

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 6:26am PST

UnknownDiscovery Channel, looking to top Nik Wallenda‘s made-for-TV tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, has signed Joby Ogwyn to attempt the first wing suit flight off the summit of Mount Everest, live on Discovery Channel in May. The jump — a descent of more than 10,000 vertical feet at speeds of over 150 mph –  will be telecast live in 224 countries and territories.

Discovery’s had good luck with live daredevil specials. In July, an average of 13 million people watched Wallenda slowly walk a wire across the Colorado River Gorge while conducting a running dialogue with God and Jesus. “Oh, I praise you, Jesus. Lord, help discoverychannel2this cable to calm down — command it,” the 34-year-old aerialist suggested a few yards into his quarter-mile Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda. Wallenda was not wearing a harness but had a microphone and two cameras — including one that looked down on the dry Little Colorado River bed and one that was focused dead ahead. Discovery telecast the ratings grab with a 10-second delay in the U.S. and a couple hundred other countries. The two-hour event delivered 8.5 million total viewers — jumping to 13 million during the actual walk. It became the third-highest-rated telecast of all-time in Discovery Channel history and was the most-watched TV program that night, beating everything on the broadcast nets and cable.
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Chuck Lorre Explains Ben Affleck Manhood Joke, Names Martin Scorsese & Harvey Weinstein As Original Targets

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 8:31am PST
Nellie Andreeva

PGA Awards Chuck LorreDespite a historic tie for best picture at the PGA Awards a week ago, the most talked about moment from the ceremony was when Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television winner Chuck Lorre recounted a brief bathroom encounter with Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes when the two peed next to each other. “Yes, I peeked. And yes, Comic-Con — he can play Batman,” Lorre said to roaring laughter, a line that later sparked a witty response from best picture presenter Affleck (watch the video below). Now Lorre used a vanity card that aired at the end of his CBS comedies Mike & Molly and Mom last night to set the record straight on the described encounter (yes, it was a joke). He revealed the original versions of the anecdote that would’ve featured director Martin Scorsese and mogul Harvey Weinstein as well as the reasons he rejected them before settling on Affleck. Here is the card:

Not that it really matters, but the joke I made at the Producers Guild Awards regarding Ben Affleck’s genitals being of sufficient size to fill the caped crusader’s codpiece was just that, a joke. I’ve never met Mr. Affleck in or out of a men’s room. Nor am I in the habit of peeking at another guy’s junk while standing at a urinal. (I mostly stare at the tiles and worry that the invisible auto-flush light beam is secretly cooking my internal organs.) I just wanted to open my speech with a cheap laugh about the Golden Globes. To be completely honest, the original version of the joke had me peeing next to and peeking at Martin Scorsese — who was, at best, a grower not a show-er. I cut it, wisely I thought, because it felt unfair to “belittle” a giant of cinema, even if I had issues with “Hugo.” I then considered telling the same joke with Harvey Weinstein as the celebrity at the neighboring stall, but cut that as well because I worried that he might be able to have me hurt.

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Year-End: Will Broadcast Pilot Season Paradigm Finally Be Broken & Other TV Industry Questions For 2014

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 3:44pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Pilot-Season-300x147Broadcast executives for years have been preaching about switching to a year-round development cycle or adopting the cable model of producing fewer pilots with higher pilot-to-series ratio. They have been ordering occasional off-cycle pilots and have jumped on scripts with pilot orders in November and December but are yet to break the traditional pilot season paradigm. This coming year, they may be forced to. In 2013, we had what was probably the first true continuous pilot season, with existing and new cable and digital players constantly handing out pilot and straight-YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451to-series orders. Add to that the new push into limited/event series arena, and there were at least a dozen projects casting at any time of the year. That has kept casting directors and TV talent agents busy and has further depleted the acting talent pool. Every year, there are a handful of pilots that are left unproduced because of difficulty casting. There is quiet panic in the air these days that this coming pilot season we will see a lot more of that. It is the logical next step after the proliferation of scripted programming across different platforms caused a shortage of writers, especially on the drama side, pushing the number of drama buys this development season way down.

nikita-weststanfordA cancelled series used to mean a cast available for the following broadcast pilot season. When ABC in January 2010 announced that Ugly Betty was going to end that spring, it created a feeding frenzy for the stars of the show that pilot season. Now actors from cancelled shows are snatched long before the following broadcast pilot season rolls along. For instance, the CW said in May that drama Nikita was calling it a day with a final six-episode installment. Its male leads, Shane West and Aaron Stanford are already spoken for with big roles in cable projects — West is the male lead on WGN America’s first scripted series, drama Salem, Stanford is the lead of Syfy’s pilot 12 Monkeys, based on Terry Gilliam’s movie, with his Nikita co-star Noah Bean also cast in the pilot. Read More »

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Sony Sets Spider-Man Spinoffs ‘Venom,’ ‘Sinister Six’ With New “Franchise Brain Trust”

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 12:19am PST

amazing spider man 2Michael Lynton said last month that they intended to create “a bigger universe around Spider-Man” and today Sony Pictures  had a new webslinging big bang. Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, announced it will make movies on Spidey villains Venom and The Sinister Six. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. This was announced via the tucked away ElectroArrives.comSpider-Man 2 related website. Spider-Man reboot 1 & 2 director Marc Webb will join the five scribes and two producers in what Sony is terming “a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.”

Related:
Sony Plans More Spider-Man Sequels & Spinoffs But  Still No Marvel Reunion
Hot Trailer: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

For a studio that’s trimming back film output it is a pretty big expansion but then again the 4-movie Spidey franchise has made $3.2 billion worldwide so far for Sony/Columbia since it started in 2002 – and that’s without the expected blockbuster of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that starts its international rollout on April 16, 2014 and debuts Stateside on May 2, 2014. Besides Spider-Man 3, which is expected to come out on June 10, 2016, there is a Kurtzman-directed Venom and a … Read More »

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Ben Affleck On Playing Batman, And How Not To Accept An Academy Award

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 5:12pm PST
Mike Fleming

ban affFor 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.

Related: Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
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Writer-Director Drew Goddard Suits Up For Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 12:37pm PST

2967714-daredevil-1Marvel 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.

Related: Melissa Rosenberg To Shepherd Marvel’s Jessica Jones Series

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Melissa Rosenberg To Shepherd Marvel’s Jessica Jones Series For Netflix

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 6:42pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

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 Read More »

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Bob Iger Talks Up Marvel-Netflix Deal, And Urges Patience On A Retrans Agreement With Dish Network

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 6:30pm EST

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 Read More »

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Netflix Picks Up Four Marvel Live-Action Series & A Mini Featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage For 2015 Launch

By and | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 9:23am EST

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: Read More »

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CBS Buys Nick Zano Comedy Produced By Channing Tatum & Reid Carolin

By | Monday October 21, 2013 @ 3:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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The Tannenbaum Co. Sells Drama Penned By Mark Steven Johnson To CBS, Comedy Starring Bert Kreischer To NBC

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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 … Read More »

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Discovery Channel To Document Life Of Evel Knievel

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 11:15am PDT

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.

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Squash Those Petitions! Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 1:36pm PDT
Mike Fleming

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.

Related: Ben Affleck To Play Batman In Warners’ Batman-Superman Pic

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).

Related: Superman Sequel Will Feature Batman In “Explosive New Film”

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? Read More »

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Ben Affleck To Play Batman In Warner Bros’ Batman-Superman Pic; Studio Sets July 17, 2015 Release Date

By | Thursday August 22, 2013 @ 6:18pm PDT

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.”

Related: Superman Sequel Will Feature Batman In “Explosive New Film”

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. Read More »

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Toronto Fest Unveils Gala Premieres For Oscar Bait Films

By | Tuesday July 23, 2013 @ 8:03am PDT
Mike Fleming

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).

Related: What Toronto Film Fest Lineup Signals For Oscar Race – Analysis

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

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Comic-Con 2013: Day 4 Schedule

By | Sunday July 7, 2013 @ 11:52am PDT

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: Read More »

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