EXCLUSIVE: Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class, Antiviral) is in negotiations to join the cast of Roland Emmerich‘s Stonewall, about the 1969 Greenwich Village raid on the Stonewall Inn that became a flashpoint for the gay rights movement. War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine was set earlier this month to lead the cast as Danny, a young man who experiences a political awakening during the riots. Jones will play an eccentric gay street hustler named Orphan Annie who at first resists then warms up to Danny and later participates in the Stonewall uprising. Jon Robin Baitz scripted the Centropolis Films production, which Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman, and Emmerich are producing. Kirstin Winkler and Adam Press are aboard as executive producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Tatiana Maslany, who earned a Golden Globe nod for her starring role on the BBC America sci-fi series Orphan Black, has been cast in indie feature The Paper Store. Maslany stars opposite Penn Badgley (Greetings From Tim Buckley, Margin Call, Gossip Girl) and Richard Kind in a revenge tale about a former college student who forges essays for cash, the client who becomes her lover, and their professor. Katharine Clark Gray penned the script with husband Nicholas Gray, who will direct. Jonathan Gray and Bonnie Timmermann are producing. Filming is set to begin next month in New York. Maslany is repped by Resolution, Magnolia Entertainment and Characters Talent Agency. Badgely, whose upcoming films include Ethan Hawke’s Cymbeline and Parts Per Billion with Frank Langella and Teresa Palmer, is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
It would have been obscene if Yahoo had matched the $35M in stock awards it gave Marissa Mayer in 2012 to woo her over from Google. So her total compensation was down for 2013 the company’s latest proxy shows, even though all of the components aside from stock awards were up in a year when Yahoo shares appreciated 103%. Her package: $1M salary, $2,250 bonus (only because she’s a co-inventor on some pending patents), $8.3M in stock awards, $13.8M in option awards, $1.7M in non equity incentives, and $73,863 in other compensation. The “other” category includes $50,000 for security (not including the protection she receives at work and on business travel), and $18,248 to reimburse for attorney fees. Yahoo says that twice last year family members and guests joined Mayer on the company plane during a business trip. It didn’t include that in her compensation “because we leased the entire aircraft and were not charged based on the number of passengers.” The board said that Mayer “revitalized the Company’s employee base, continued to build her leadership team, increased the pace of product innovation and refreshes, spearheaded the acquisition of Tumblr, and attracted new customers and increased traffic.” Former COO Henrique de Castro, who was bounced in January, didn’t receive a bonus “because the Compensation Committee believed that he did not meet the performance standards necessary to receive an annual bonus for 2013,” the proxy says. Still, Mayer’s former pal was …
EXCLUSIVE: After extreme pressure from other members over his memoir Signs And Wonders, four-term Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk has taken a six month leave of absence from the organization that is behind the Golden Globes. This happened last Friday, a compromise resolution to a problem that has been in the air since Berk published a book that covered his early days and especially the back and forth between HFPA members and celebrities involved in the Globes. Insiders said that the feeling among HFPA members was that Berk blindsided them with his book, took shots at them and a lot of Hollywood celebrities, and also took way too much credit for the success of the Globes. Perfectly positioned to be a tool during Oscar campaigns, the Globes has grown in prominence and TV ratings, even as some questioned whether the voting body has a right to wield such clout.
The leave of absence means that Berk loses his HFPA credentials for that long, though he can certainly go see movies on his own. The move was a compromise reached with current HFPA president Theo Kingma, who resisted calls for Berk to be given greater punishment. In addition to the leave of absence, Berk has been asked by Kingma to have the book de-listed from Amazon, which is selling it. The HFPA will get into this further, engaging with the publisher tomorrow.
“He wasn’t suspended, there was no vote by the members, because this is a journalist organization that respects the First Amendment,” said an insider. “Unfortunately, free speech covers stupid speech too.”
Jack Kilmer has been cast in Len & Co., an indie drama from director Tim Godsall. The pic follows a surly record producer who embarks on a journey to compassion and love when his son (Kilmer) arrives at his home in hopes of reconnecting and bonding with his father. Juno Temple plays the son’s music protege friend. Production begins this weekend in Toronto. Kilmer made his feature debut in Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, which co-stars his father Val Kilmer. He is repped by Principato Young Entertainment, Resolution Entertainment and Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matlof and Fishman.
David Mazouz has booked a role in 6 Miranda Drive, the Blumhouse thriller directed by Greg Mclean. Kevin Bacon stars in the film about a family that unwittingly brings a supernatural force home with them from vacation. Mazouz starred on Fox’s Touch and will play young Bruce Wayne in the network’s Batman prequel Gotham. He recently finished shooting Blumhouse’s Incarnate with Aaron Eckhart and next appears in The Games Maker. The actor is repped by Paradigm, Intellectual Artists Management and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
It’s not WrestleMania, but Time Warner Cable shareholders can expect more excitement than usual at their annual meeting this year: The company’s preliminary proxy, out this morning, includes proposals from Charter Communications and other investors that could create problems for TWC management as it tries to sell the No. 2 cable giant to No. 1 Comcast.
Charter — which was the runner up in the bidding contest, but hasn’t given up — wants to change the by-laws to fix the size of the TWC board at 13 instead of allowing directors to change it when they want. Charter plans to propose its own TWC board slate, and no doubt wants to ensure that directors don’t boost the size of the body to dilute the impact if the challengers win. TWC naturally urges shareholders to reject Charter’s candidates, and the proposal. “Recruiting qualified candidates is a challenging and time-consuming process, and the Board of Directors believes that it is in the best interests of the Company’s stockholders for the Board to retain the flexibility to either increase its size if a highly-qualified candidate becomes available or to decrease its size if a director declines to seek reelection or for other reasons,” the company says.
Charter also wants TWC investors to support a change in the by-laws to repeal any changes made without shareholder support after July 26, 2012. Here, too, TWC’s board urges a “no” vote saying that the resolution “represents no …
The companies aren’t disclosing financial terms, but DirecTV appears to have won some major concessions, including an apology. The Weather Channel (to appear on channel 362) will cut its reality programming by half on weekdays. It also will return instant local weather and authorize DirecTV subscribers to stream its video programming to multiple devices inside and outside the home. And, in a really unusual twist, TWC chief David Kenny apologized to “DirecTV and their customers for the disruption of our service and for initiating a public campaign. Our viewers deserve better than a public dispute, and we pledge to reward their loyalty with exceptional programming and more weather focused news.” DirecTV Chief Content Officer Dan York crowed that while the dispute was “frustrating for many of our customers … their patience was ultimately rewarded with a better deal and a better product.”
DirecTV dropped TWC on January 14. The channel wanted a penny increase in the price DirecTV pays for it. (It averages 13 cents per subscriber per month across pay TV systems, according to SNL Kagan data.) But DirecTV said it wanted to cut its outlays, noting that TWC too often offers reality programs such as Deadliest Space Weather and Coast Guard Alaska instead of the latest local weather. Last week DirecTV strengthened its bargaining position by reaching a multi-year agreement to offer WeatherNation (on channel 361).
EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed British helmer Simon West and his producing partner Jib Polhemus. West is in post-production on Wild Card, William Goldman’s adaptation of his book that stars Jason Statham and Sofia Vergara, with Sierra/Affinity financing. This comes after West directed The Mechanic with Statham and Ben Foster, and The Expendables 2, with Statham and Sly Stallone leading the macho ensemble. West left Resolution, and became in play after the recent exits of Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter.
West also directed Con Air, The General’s Daughter, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He was exec producer on Black Hawk Down, and is re-teaming with that writer, Ken Nolan, to direct the adaptation of the David Zucchino book Thunder Run. West also works in TV, producing Fox’s Keen Eddie, CBS’s Close to Home, Fox’s Human Target and NBC’s The Cape. West and Polhemus continue to be lawyered by Barry Tyerman.
NBC Orders Charles Manson Drama Series Starring David Duchovny From Marty Adelstein & ITV Studios Who Eye Alliance
Following the end of his Showtime dark comedy series Californication, David Duchovny is reuniting with former Showtime topper Bob Greenblatt for Aquarius, a gritty 1960s cop drama at NBC about a cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project, envisioned as an event series, has received a 13-episode straight-to-series order. Aquarius was written by John McNamara, creator of the cult Fox series Profit. It will be produced by ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Prods in the first collaboration between the companies, which have been in lengthy talks about a joint venture-type of partnership, in which Marty Adelstein Prods would function as a mini studio under the ITV Studios America umbrella following Adelstein’s upcoming exit from his long-time studio home, 20th Century Fox TV. Aquarius marks the return to broadcast TV of Duchovny, who toplined Fox’s hit The X-Files, in which Greenblatt also was involved while at Fox.
Set in the late 1960s, Aquarius stars Duchovny as a Los Angeles police sergeant with a complicated personal life who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” The man’s name is Charles Manson. The twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that eventually will lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons. “Event series are a big priority for us, and the combination of a show that charts the lead-up to the Manson murders, along with a television star of the magnitude of David Duchovny, is the very definition of an event,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Added Greenblatt, “After being involved in the production of both The X-Files and Californication, it gives me great pleasure to work with David Duchovny for the third time on this compelling drama.” Aquarius joins another Charles Manson project, a limited series is in development at Fox with writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Joe Johnston has signed with WME for representation. Johnston had been in play since agents Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter left Resolution to go to Paradigm. He had been with CAA with Kanter for a long time, before the agent made the move to Resolution and Johnston went with him. This is a big get for WME. Johnston’s hits include October Sky, Captain America: The First Avenger, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji and Honey I Shrunk The Kids. He is currently developing the high-concept sci-fi thriller Extinction by Spenser Cohen with Mandeville and Good Universe. His next film, Not Safe For Work, is set at Universal. Johnston continues to be lawyered by Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
Summit Entertainment has hired Oscar-nominated scribe Melisa Wallack to do a polish on the Vin Diesel actioner The Last Witch Hunter, to be directed by Breck Eisner (Sahara, The Crazies). Wallack earned her first Academy Award nomination for last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, which she co-scripted with Craig Borten. Before that she wrote and co-directed 2007 dramedy Meet Bill and penned 2012 Snow White fantasy Mirror Mirror, working on both projects with producer Bernie Goldmann, who co-directed the former and is a producer on Last Witch Hunter. The supernatural tale, about an immortal witch hunter (Diesel) who partners with a witch to save humanity from the covens of New York City, was originally penned by Cory Goodman (Priest) and revised by D.W. Harper. Pic has been brewing since Summit bought Goodman’s pitch for mid-six figures in 2011 with Timur Bekmambetov attached to helm. Eisner came aboard last year to direct.
This is one agency war that has ended with a veiled whimper rather than a drawn-out legal drama. More than six months after Jeff Berg’s Resolution took ICM Partners to court over his former agency’s repeated insistence that it was entitled to commissions on deals made by its former agents, the plug has been pulled on the battle. Terms of the settlement have not been revealed, but Resolution filed for a dismissal on March 24. “Essentially, both gangs put down their knives,” a source close to the situation tells me.
CinemaCon: Christopher Nolan Warns Theatre Owners: How ‘Interstellar’ Is Presented Will Be More Important Than Any Film He’s Done Before
The large graphic hovering above today’s CinemaCon luncheon filmmaker interview event said “Interstellar THE WORK OF CHRISTOPHER NOLAN“, but any theatre owner who was there anxious to get details of the blockbuster filmmaker’s latest learned very little. Nolan said he is still involved in his favorite part of the process – putting the first cut of Interstellar together – and wants to keep it all under wraps for now. He did praise star Matthew McConaughey’s work just as he did when I saw him at an event on the Paramount lot last week. Today he told the crowd he cast the brand new Oscar winner because he has a sort of “everyman” the audience could see the story through, saying he got interested in him particularly after seeing Mud. He also said his brother Jonah had actually written the initial script and that he became involved years later incorporating other ideas and elements that shaped the final screenplay. But in terms of real scoops we got none. “Really it’s about travel to other places we couldn’t reach through travel through space because the time expanse is far beyond anything we could conceive of,” was the most detailed description moderator Todd McCarthy could wrest out of him in a 50-minute interview, despite repeated tries.
EXCLUSIVE: XYZ Films‘ action pic Redeemer just got more international with the addition of actor Noah Segan (Looper, Brick), who’ll co-star opposite martial artist Marko Zaror (Expendables 2, Machete Kills) in the pic now filming in Chile. In his fourth team-up with director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Zaror stars as an ex-hitman who’s made a deal with God to hunt down the men he used to work for. Segan’s come aboard to play an unhinged American expat businessman-cum-kingpin with a thing for Chilean culture who zeroes in on Zaror when his money goes missing. The casting is unusual in that he’ll play his character in English within the otherwise Spanish-language pic – a development that arose when the filmmakers tailored the role for Segan, who is also joining the project as a producer alongside Zaror, Espinoza and Diego Moral Heimpell.
Joseph A. Nunez (Super Bad, NCIS) has booked a role in ABC comedy pilot The Winklers from Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal; Henry Winkler’s son, director Max Winkler; and son-in-law, actor Rob Reinis. Based on Henry Winkler’s relationship with his son-in-law, Reinis, Winklers centers on Jack (Domenick Lombardozzi), an emotionally reserved construction worker who learns about love, life and hugs while unexpectedly living with his in-laws — successful actor Henry (Winkler) and Tita Winkler (Judith Light), the fabulous, fierce momma bear of the family. Nunez will play Paco, a construction worker on Jack’s crew whose secret passion is dance.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Jonny Cruz (Cool Wheels) and Dylan Bruce (Orphan Black) have been cast as recurring in the upcoming action drama series Matador, for Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network, created by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Matador chronicles the unlikely rise of Antonio “Matador” Bravo (Gabriel Luna), a popular soccer star who in reality uses his sports career for a cover as a skilled covert operative executing missions for a little-known branch of the CIA. Cruz, repped by House of Representatives and Hines and Hunt Entertainment, will play Ricky Bravo, Tony’s younger brother who’s currently in prison. Bruce, repped by Resolution, Canada’s Pacific Artists Management and manager Michael Bruno, Gabriel, a Lothario type DEA Agent. He recently …
Singer-songwriter-actress Alison Sudol (A Fine Frenzy) has been tapped as a series regular on USA Network’s six episode event series DIG, an action adventure drama from co-creators and executive producers Tim Kring and Gideon Raff. It centers on Peter (Jason Isaacs), an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder of a woman archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making that threatens to change the course of history. Sudol, repped by Resolution and Dave Fleming at Mosaic, will play Emma Wilson, an American intern working on a dig site in Jerusalem who befriends Peter (Isaacs). Sudel recurred on Transparent and will be seen in upcoming feature Other People’s Children.
Taryn Manning has signed with Resolution. She recently was upped to regular for Season 2 of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and recurs on Hawaii Five-O as Steve McGarrett’s ne’er-do-well sister. Her big-screen credits include Redemption Road, Hustle & Flow and 8 Mile. Upcoming features include Almost Broadway and #Horror. She continues to be repped by the Syndicate and Felker, Toczek, Gellman, Suddleson.
Lavell Crawford has inked with Innovative Artists. He recurred on Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman’s bodyguard Huell Babineaux and has appeared on The Crazy Ones, Super Fun Night and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and also tours as a stand-up comic. Crawford next will be seen in the feature Evil Nature. He continues to be managed by Anonymous Content.
Bille Woodruff has been tapped to direct VH1′s Drumline 2: A New Beat, co-written by Karen Gist and Regina Hicks. Fox Television Studios is co-financing and looking at the project as a possible back-door pilot. Story focuses on strong-willed and talented Dani Bolton, who defies her parents, bypassing Spelman College for SEU so she can join the Rolling Red Thunder Drumline. Nick Cannon will exec produce. Woodruff, repped by ICM Partners, Greenlight Management, and attorney Peter Nichols, directed features Honey and Beauty Shop. His current film Addicted for Lionsgate is slated to be released in October. Gist is repped by ICM Partners; Hicks is with Resolution.
UPDATE: Bob Iger Talks Up ‘Frozen’, ‘Star Wars’ & New ‘Incredibles’ And ‘Cars’ Movies As Shareholders Re-Elect Board
The Disney CEO made his observations as he kicked off his company’s annual shareholder meeting in Portland, Ore. Frozen has already generated more than $1B globally and, with its successful open in Japan, should pass Toy Story 3‘s sales of $1.06B. TS3 made $126.7M in Japan. The new film’s success has returned Disney’s animation studio to its “rightful place” as one of the world’s greatest, Bob Iger says. Pixar, meanwhile, will produce a third Cars movie and is developing a sequel to 2004′s The Incredibles, Iger also said, with confirmation coming via Disney/Pixar’s Facebook page that it is “currently working on two new films featuring your favorite characters from Incredibles and Cars.” Iger also crowed about the company’s market value of more than $143B, up from about $100B last year. “I’d call that a great year,” he says. Iger told investors that he can’t share much about Star Wars VII, but said that principal photography will begin in May in London. In his opening comments the CEO also said that the Shanghai Disney park will feature a Pirates Of the Caribbean-themed attraction called Treasure Cove.
Related: Disney: ‘Star Wars’ To Start Shooting In May, Pick Up 30 Years After End Of ‘Jedi’
No surprises on the business side: All of the board nominees, who were unopposed, were re-elected according to the preliminary returns. Former Starbucks CEO Orin Smith trailed the pack with support from holders owning 92% of the votes cast. Iger was favored by 99%. Some 80% supported an advisory resolution endorsing the company’s executive compensation. Just 24% supported a shareholder proposal that Disney opposed that would have barred accelerated vesting of executives’ equity awards if there’s a change in control.