‘Everest’ Movie Crew OK After Tragic Avalanche

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 3:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

avalEXCLUSIVE: While the second unit crew shooting Everest were in the vicinity when a tragic avalanche struck Mount Everest and so far has killed 13, there were no injuries or fatalities on the film, I can report. Principal photography on the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film is nearly over and they are finishing in Pinewood in England, but the second unit was setting up to go and shoot at Base 2 on Mount Everest near Nepal. Fortunately for the crew, they were acclimating at the foot of the summit and weren’t up where the disaster took place, when a wall of ice 1,000 feet up fell off at the left shoulder of the mountain and crashed down on Base 2. Most of the fatalities were experienced sherpas that guide climbers to the summit. Several of the sherpas involved with the Everest production rushed to help. The production will now have to wait to assess whether a trek back up the mountain to finish shooting is feasible.

The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by NBC News Peacock Prods. Seven NBC News staffers on site are accounted for and unharmed, and Discovery said it has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact the event’s scheduled May 11 air date. Read More »

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Cannes: Nicole Garcia Heads Camera d’Or Jury

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 5:10am PDT
Mike Fleming

Nicole-GarciaActress-director-screenwriter Nicole Garcia will preside over the jury for this year’s Caméra d’Or award, given to the best debut film at the Cannes Film Festival. In this opportunity to champion an up-and-coming director she joins the ranks of previous … Read More »

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Accusations Prompt ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon Fanfest

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 6:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Bryan Singer WonderCon CancelEXCLUSIVE: In the wake of shocking allegations of sexual abuse against Bryan Singer that surfaced five weeks before the launch of the new X-Men film, Singer has cancelled a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s WonderCon in Anaheim, Deadline hears. Fox instead will send Simon Kinberg as the studio prepares to launch the Singer-directed blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg wrote and produced the film and has been a part of the X-Men universe since the beginning.

WonderCon logoSinger had been scheduled to be on hand to do interviews for the film that Fox opens May 23. It seems fairly obvious that right now he’s not going to get the kind of questions that will help the movie, or that he could answer. Singer had been scheduled to represent X-Men among a bunch of big Fox movies vamping this weekend, appearing along with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and director Matt Reeves from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes; Jay Baruchel and writer-director Dean DeBlois from How To Train Your Dragon 2; and Dylan O’Brien, writer James Dashner and director Wes Ball from The Maze Runner.
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Sony Buys Lauryn Kahn Spec ‘I’m In Love With The DJ’ For Gary Sanchez

Mike Fleming

laurynEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has made a pre-emptive deal for I’m In Love With The DJ, a romantic comedy spec by Lauryn Kahn that will be produced by Gary Sanchez’s Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Kevin Messick. Deal comes right after Gary Sanchez made a Sony deal for Border Guards, a comedy that will star Ferrell and John C. Reilly, with McKay directing.

The new deal is for an R-rated comedy is about a girl whose two best friends tag along on her work trip to Spain that quickly turns into a crazy hunt for a hot DJ through the electronic dance music scene. Kahn is the young writer who, after spending four years as McKay’s assistant and honing her writing skills scripting, performing and directing numerous shorts for the Funny Or Die, sold the script He’s Fuckin’ Perfect to Fox 2000 for $1 million against $1.5 million. That film, now titled The Social Life, moved to Universal with Jake Syzmanski directing Amanda Seyfried and Rebel Wilson, with Gary Sanchez producing. Read More »

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UTA Signs WattPad’s Breakout Novel ‘After’

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 11:40am PDT
Mike Fleming

After Wattpad UTA HollywoodEXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed to represent screen rights for After, a serialized story by Anna Todd that has become the most followed literary property published by Wattpad, an online community in which writers tell stories chapter by chapter. According to Wattpad general manager Candice Faktor, the three-part series After has been clicked on by more than 500 million.

utaFactor described the site as “a writer and reader community to collaborate and share nonfiction, fiction and fan fiction. It is a mobile experience that is very social and where writers establish a personal connection with their audience.” The site launched seven years ago and has built to 22 million monthly users, 80% of whom access the site on mobile devices. The company recently raised $46 million in Series C funding.

Agencies usually rep works from traditional publishers, but the priority in Hollywood is to find rabid followings that warrant screen adaptations. For Wattpad, After is the closest thing the site has experienced to Fifty Shades Of Grey, which began in similar fashion as fan fiction before it became a massive global bestseller and an upcoming Universal/Focus feature for author E.L. James. The way Faktor describes it, After sounds like a close cousin, without the S&M. “A happy, optimistic young girl falls in love with a guy with a dark side that is addictive, and their relationship is a rollercoaster ride,” Faktor said. Read More »

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Fox Buys Pitch For Its ‘Chronicle’ And ‘Fantastic Four’ Star Michael B. Jordan

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has closed a deal for Men Who Kill, a pitch 2014 CinemaCon - The Big Screen Achievement Awardsby T.J. Fixman that will be developed as a star vehicle for fast-rising Michael B. Jordan. The tone of the film is an international Bad Boys and it gives the studio another project with Jordan, who comes off his breakout role in Fruitvale Station and heads into the Fantastic Four reboot after previously starring in the Fox sleeper Chronicle.

20th_century_fox_logoAfter starring as a teen in the iconic TV series The Wire and Friday Night Lights, Jordan is making the transition to adulthood among a handful of young actors vying to be in the next generation of bankable leading men. This is the first action thriller vehicle being developed specifically for Jordan, who is separately attached to play Apollo Creed’s grandson in a new version of Rocky that will re-team him with Fruitvale Station writer-director Ryan Coogler. Read More »

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Open Road Acquires U.S. On ‘Tupac’, John Singleton-Directed Pic On Hip-Hop Icon

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 11:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

tupacEXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Tupac, the long-awaited and highly anticipated feature on the life of Tupac Shakur directed by John Singleton. Scripted by Jeremy Haft & Ed Gonzalez and Singleton, the film traces … Read More »

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Jose Padilha & Eric Newman Team For John Hlavin’s WWII Revenge Pitch ‘Nekome’

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

ericnewmanpadilhaEXCLUSIVE: GrandElectric Entertainment, a new shingle formed by ex-Strike Entertainment partner Eric Newman, has teamed with director Jose Padilha‘s Cold Mountain to preemptively purchase Nekome, a period action pitch by John Hlavin. Studiocanal will finance development and production of the film.

The title is the Yiddish word for revenge and the film is set in the days following the end of World War II. Two young Holocaust survivors are sent by the Jewish underground to Brazil to hunt down and kill the escaped Nazis who ran their concentration camp. The film will shoot in Brazil. Studiocanal is committed to finance the film, but Newman and Padilha retained distribution rights in Brazil, where Padilha is a movie god after his Elite Squad films. Read More »

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WME Signs Playwright/Scribe Jay Reiss

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

putnamEXCLUSIVE: Writer Jay Reiss has signed with WME for representation. Reiss, who had been at CAA, co-wrote the award-winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the dark Julian Farino-directed comedy The Oranges. His movie … Read More »

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Hot Tribeca Clip For ‘Keep On Keepin’ On; Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock To Swing At Saturday’s Post-Premiere Performance

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:34am PDT
Mike Fleming

keeping onMark the calendar for the April 19 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Keep On Keepin’ On, the Al Hicks-directed documentary about 23-year-old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin, who is helped over his terrible stage fright by his ailing … Read More »

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Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly Re-Team With Adam McKay On Sony’s ‘Border Guards’

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 3:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

stepEXCLUSIVE: After cranking out two big hit comedies in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Sony Pictures is back in business with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and John C. Reilly. The studio has closed a deal with Oscar-nominated … Read More »

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Commit To September Start For New Regency’s ‘The Revenant’

Mike Fleming

leodEXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio has committed to star this September in The Revenant, a gritty thriller that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will direct for New Regency, for fall 2015 release through Fox. Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith co-wrote the script. DiCaprio had been attached to team with Gonzalez Inarritu, but he is attached to many projects; getting the star to commit off his Oscar-nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street performance is a big development for Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston’s game plan to make tasteful, star- and director-driven fare.

revenantAnonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon and David Kanter will produce with Gonzalez Iñárritu, Milchan and James Skotchdopole. Brett Ratner and Paul Green are exec producers. The film will be co-financed by RatPac and Worldview Entertainment, latter of which just partnered with Regency and Fox Searchlight in the Inarritu-directed Birdman, which was just set for release on October 17.

An adaptation of the Michael Punke novel The Revenant: A Novel Of Revenge, Inarritu Gonzalez’s next film will star DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a 19th century fur trapper who gets mauled by a grizzly bear, and then is left for dead by cohorts who rob him. When he survives, he is as pissed as a bee-stung bear and sets out on a treacherous journey to exact revenge on those who betrayed him. Sean Penn had been circling as one of those bad guys, but he won’t be in the film. Read More »

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David Fincher Off Steve Jobs Shows Perils Of Tracking Board Journalism

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 9:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

jobssSo tonight there are big scoops about how David Fincher walked away from the movie Sony and Scott Rudin are developing about Apple visionary Steve Jobs, based on the Walter Isaacson book. What an unusual outcome to a story … Read More »

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QED Buys ‘Yellowstone Falls’; 52-Page Spec About Wolves Battling Mutated Humans

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 11:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

wolfesBREAKING: While we’ve got plenty of projects that mix genre staples from zombies to wolves, the town went wild for a highly unusual combination. In heated bidding, QED emerged victorious and acquired Yellowstone Falls, a spec script by … Read More »

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New Regency Taps Brad Pitt, David Michod To Tell Gen. Stanley McChrystal Afghan Story ‘The Operators’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 8:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

pitttBREAKING: Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd will write and direct The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt. The project’s backed by Plan B, New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, and it was announced … Read More »

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Spoiler Alert: Was ‘Game Of Thrones’ TV’s Best Offing Ever?

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 8:32am PDT
Mike Fleming

gothrones

UPDATE: Our commenters have been beating on me like I owe them money for spoiling the ending of this episode and not immediately blaring spoiler alerts. I had this thing mostly written, meant to store it when a Brad Pitt break came over the transom but hit publish before it was properly polished with disclaimers. I am truly sorry if I spoiled the episode for anyone. I thought it was fair game after reading recaps all over about the events of this episode (and every other hot show such as  The Good Wife, Vikings, Sons Of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, take your pick) after a major character is axed. But I’ll know better to be more careful next time.

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Draws 6.3 Million Viewers To Shocker; ‘Silicon Valley’ & ‘Veep’ Steady

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of Sunday’s episode of Game Of Thrones.

When I first saw the death of the cruel in-bred King Joffrey on Game Of Thrones a month ago, I paused it after that final scene, high-fived my son, and then we watched the scene again three times. When I told this last week to show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (the architects of the George R.R. Martin book adaptation), they tried to temper my enthusiasm going into last night’s episode. We were talking about their feature deal at Fox to write/direct the Stephen Hunter novel Dirty White Boys, but I had to start with Joffrey, and how they played his shocking, and shockingly satisfying, demise. “Didn’t you feel at least a little badly for him,” Benioff asked. “No,” I said. “I could have watched his death scene last the whole episode.” Said Weiss: “But the way we look at it, the actor who plays Joffrey, Jack Gleeson, is such a good guy, and now we don’t get to work with him anymore.” Me: “Sorry for Jack, but that last shot, the bulging eyes, spittle and snot and blood coming out of that nasty little face, I’d wear that on a T-shirt.” They warmed to this idea: “You could do that, and the front could say ‘Spoiler alert,’ and then you have the picture of a dying Joffrey on the back,” Benioff said. Added Weiss: “You could make a whole line of those spoiler T-shirts.”

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Director Talks Shocking Episode, Teases Season 4 Finale

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Oscar, Schmoscar: MTV Votes ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Best Movie

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 8:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

mvUPDATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just beat out such films as Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street for Movie Of The Year in the conclusion of the MTV Movie Awards. … Read More »

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Hot MTV Movie Awards Clip: ‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 7:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

This clip was shown during an MTV Generation Award to Mark Wahlberg to hype his new movie, Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

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Hot MTV Movie Awards Trailer: ‘Blended’

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 7:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

I wish I could show you the incredible catch Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki just made, smacking into the rightfield wall to rob David Ortiz of an extra base hit in a one-run game in the 8th inning. Instead, here’s the latest trailer from the MTV Movie Awards, the … Read More »

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