The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network has named Disney/ABC Television Groupâs EVP Global Communications as chairman of its board. GLSEN is a leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. âThe work GLSEN is doing to ensure that schools across our nation are safe for all children is nothing short of inspiring,â Kevin Brockman said. âIâve had the great pleasure to hear directly from many of the incredible students that theyâve helped over the years, and when you are faced with that kind of courage and that kind of compassion, itâs easy to agree to become a bigger part of the process.â
San Francisco, Calif. â Discovery Communications and Revision3 announced today the launch of TestTube, a digital video network designed to ignite online audiences who are incurably curious about the world around them. TestTube debuts with a robust slate of 15 short-form series and many more in development, and hosted by some of the Internetâs top personalities. TestTube is available at TestTube.com, and through Revision3âs mobile site and apps, YouTube, Xbox and additional distribution partners.
Shine-owned production company Kudos has partnered with Imaginary Friends Productions for an exclusive two-year, first-look deal. Imaginary Friends is run by Broadchurch writer and exec producer Chris Chibnall. He’s coming off the first season of the hit ITV show which had all of Britain engrossed. Kudos will have first crack at co-developing and co-producing Chibnallâs new scripted projects. As with Broadchurch, he would exec produce alongside Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone. Shine International will rep sales. Broadchurch was renewed for a second season and will air in the U.S later this year on BBC America. Chibnall previously worked with Kudos as a writer on Life On Mars and a showrunner on Law & Order: UK.
Hannibal Classics has set Danny Glover, Peter Stomare, Aubrey Peebles, Patrice Cols and Max Fowler to join Nicolas Cage in the action thriller Tokarev. The film, which starts June 8 in Alabama, marks the American debut of Spanish helmer Paco Cabezas. Cage plays a reformed criminal whose daughter is kidnapped by the Russian mob. To find her, he must leave his respectable life behind, round up his old crew and seek his own brand of justice. Funding comes from Union Patriot Capital Management LLC. Image Entertainment has acquired North American rights and the Hannibal Classics sales division is selling it around the world.
“We couldn’t be happier with our cast, a combination of audience favorites and fresh young talent. Danny and Peter are recognized and loved all over the world. And in Max Fowler, Aubrey Peeples and Patrice Cols we feel we have found the stars of tomorrow.” Rionda Del Castro and Michael Mendelsohn are producing the feature film that was written by Jim Agnew & Sean Keller. Executive Producers are Nicolas Cage, Patricia Eberle, Mike Nilon, Hayley Magouirk, Jim Agnew, Sean Keller, Cam Cannon, Frederico Lapenda and Martin J. Barab, David Milner is associate producing and the Cinematographer is Andrzej Sekula.
UPDATE, 9:34 PM: The Motion Pictures Editors Guild said tonight that it has reached an agreement with the producers ofÂ The Hunt. “The crew will report to work as scheduled tomorrow, and they’ll be working under a union contract,” the guild said on its Facebook page. “Many thanks to all those sisters and brothers who volunteered to walk the picket line. Thankfully, this time it won’t be necessary.”
PREVIOUSLY: The upcoming CWÂ series The Hunt doesn’t premiere until July 31st, but its producers are already in trouble with the Hollywood unions.Â The Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, sent an email to its members and sister IATSE locals today calling for a Thursday picketÂ againstÂ Renegade 83 Productions’ Sherman Oaks offices doing post-production. The union claims thatÂ production subsidiary Triple Ridge EntertainmentÂ âhas improperly interfered with its employeesâ free exercise of their right to organizeâ. MPEG took to its Facebook page to put out a call for picketers.Â The Hunt is aÂ wilderness competition in which 12 teamsÂ competeÂ in a physical game for aÂ $25,000 prize. It is executive produced by David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe and Greg Goldman.
Universal Networks International today unveiled Universal Channel Germany, its first launch of a flagship channel in the country. Fresh from a rebranding that includes a new look, logo and tagline — â100% Characterâ — the channel goes live September 5 on Sky Deutschland and Deutsche Telecom. A core channel brand for NBCUniversal International Television channels unit, Universal Channel is seen in 103 countries and delivered in 16 languages around the world.
French And English Film Chiefs Renew Partnership
Olivier-RenĂ© Veillon, Executive Director of the Ile de France Film Commission, and Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, renewed the partnership agreement between the two capital cities at the Cannes Film Festival. The partnership will bring together production and post production talents from London and Ile de France to attend two major film industry events either side of the Channel, laying the foundation for collaboration to develop their common goal of promoting their respective regions to national and international productions.
Veteran business affairs attorney Leonard Kalcheim died today at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 74. Kalcheim started as an attorney at ABC before moving to Paramount Pictures, where he worked for more than 20 years, rising to SVP Business & Legal Affairs. After leaving Paramount in 1986, Kalcheim oversaw business and legal affairs for several independent entertainment companies including Guthy-Renker, Nash Entertainment and Atlas Media. He was a captain in the Army from 1965-67 after graduating from Columbia Law School.
JJ Abrams has taken some heat about a scene in Star Trek Into Darkness where Kirk (Chris Pine) gets a quick look at Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in her underwear. Answering to charges of sexism on Conan, Abrams said he thought the scene was a trade-off because Kirk also shows some skin — and then the filmmaker revealed a cut scene of Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays the villainous Khan) showering. Check it out:
Robert Redford may not be eligible for any awards at Cannes this year where his new film, All Is LostÂ premiered to strong response out of competition on Wednesday night, but if the reaction on the Croisette was any indication, he could be headed for the Oscars. The film, in which Redford is the only actor playing a man stranded at sea when his sailboat springs a huge leak, is a tour de force for the star and it won a 9-minute standing ovation at its debut tonight. Even the return of the rain that has plagued this festival could not put a damper on the mood of the filmmakers, Universal International (releasing overseas) and Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions (releasing domestically on October 18th). It is clearly an awards season play, not only for Redford in a role unlike any he has played but also Oscar nominated writer/director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) who proves his first film was no fluke and shows a remarkable ability to pull off this one-man show with real filmmaking skill.
Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys is set to topline and executive produce a reality series that will chronicle his life as he tries to make amends with his past and prepare for his upcoming nuptials. I hear unscripted production company Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment (Hardcore Pawn: Chicago) is shopping the half-hour docu-series starring Carter and his fiancĂ©e, Lauren Kitt, which already has received interest from cable networks. The series, also exec produced by Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Backstreet Boys who will release a new album In A World Like This on July 30 and will set out on a world-tour. Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment is repped by CAA;Â Carter and Kitt are with TalentWorks.
Jennifer Aniston as a stripper. Ed Helms as a drug lord and Jason Sudeikis as a small-time dealer and his reluctant mule. Nick Offerman as a swingin’ camper. Emma Roberts as a gutter punk. Warner Bros just released the first trailer — a red band — for New Line’s summer comedy We’re The Millers, and there’s plenty going on in it. Not the least of which is a lingerie-clad, platinum-wigged, lap-dancin’ Aniston. She, Sudeikis, Roberts and Will Poulter pose as a family on a cross-country road trip as they venture south of the border to pick up a “smidge of pot” for Helms — smidge being a relative term. The flick opens wide August 9. Check out the trailer:
The Voice judge and Oklahoma native said last night that he wanted to put together a relief concert in support of victims of the massive Oklahoma tornado that hit earlier this week, killing dozens. Now NBC is working fast to make it happen. If it comes together, I understand the Blake Shelton-led concert would be held early next week — the network is putting together a few more elements, including where the event will be held. Details about the performances are sketchy, but it’s anticipated that several of Shelton’s Voice co-judges would be involved. Shelton performed a song with wife Miranda Lambert during last night’s live episode of The Voice as Red Cross donation information played on the screen.
The mobile gaming tie-in to Universalâs Fast & Furious 6Â launched on the iTunes App Store last week and is #1 among free apps in 45 countries.Â Created with SF-based studio Kabam,Â itâs also the #1 overall game in 69 countries, the top racing game in 112 countries, and the #1 action game in 85 countries. Its iPad app version runs comparable if even wider in saturation as the top free app in 81 countries. By contrast, Paramount‘s Star Trek: The Game — tied to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness — stayed in-house and it’s doing lousy since it came out last month. According to VG Chartz, unit sales in its first three weeksÂ are onlyÂ 140KÂ to date across PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 consoles.Â It’s also considered a failure because it’s very buggy despite years of development.Â Critics and users alike gave it poor reviews. So what happened?
Hammond On Cannes: Elizabeth Taylor’s Memory Lives On At Festival As ‘Cleopatra’ Premieres And AIDS Event Hits 20th Anniversary
There are lots of stars in Cannes this year but I don’t think any of them are shining brighter at the festival than one who is no longer with us. Elizabeth Taylor may have died over two years ago at the age of 79 but she lives on, not only on the big and small screens where her many films still play, but also for all the amazing charitable work she did in her lifetime, particularly her fight against AIDS. Tomorrow night amFAR will certainly be remembering her at the 20th anniversary of Cinema AgainstÂ AIDS,Â the signature event setÂ during the Cannes Festival she helped start. And Tuesday night 20th Century FoxÂ World Premiered its meticulous 2K digital restoration (it took nine months to complete)Â of the 1963 film, Cleopatra, infamous for the torrid off-screen love affair between its stars Taylor and Richard Burton.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary the studio pulled out all the stops with a black tie premiere of the four-hour movie (that ironically almost bankrupted the studio), followed by a lavish party sponsored by Bulgari, the jeweler who supplied Taylor with so many of the baubles she was famous for collecting.Â In fact, as you entered the party on the J.W. Marriott rooftop it was hard to avoid them displayed in special glass cabinets.Â Included was the platinum and emerald necklace herÂ co-star Burton gave her for their engagement in 1962. Host (and Bulgari spokesperson) Jessica Chastain actually wore it to introduce the film before taking it off and giving it back to Bulgari. She is the only person to have worn it other than Liz on her wedding day (or one of her wedding days). Also Fox brought in several original Cleopatra costumes. Fox Chairman Jim Gianopulos was there to help intro the film and told me later thatÂ the financial toll the film took on the studio has been overblown. “It turned a profit after three years,” he says although the movie’s cost was astronomical and ran off the rails. I asked FoxÂ President of Post-Production Ted GaglianoÂ about the story that director Joseph Mankiewicz actually had aÂ six-hour cut and that two never-before seen hours of the film are somewhere in the Fox vaults. He says he has heard thisÂ as wellÂ but thinks it’s another in the long line of Cleopatra myths since they searched high and low and found nothing. One of the guests at the premiere, director and film nerdÂ Alexander Payne told me after seeing the film again he wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn there was an even longerÂ cut. “But who really needs to see a six-hour version?” he asked. Both Payne and his guest Laura Dern (whose father Bruce Dern stars in Payne’s Cannes entry, Nebraska, which premieres here Thursday) said they loved seeing the film in all its restored glory.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has hired Richard Cordiner to script Spacesuit, based on the book by Nicholas de Monchaux. This tells the true story of the unsung heroes of the Apollo space program — a team of bra and girdle designers from Playtex who successfully built the iconic spacesuit that enabled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to walk on the moon. This improbable band of outsiders — led by a former TV repairman, a car mechanic, and their crew of spirited seamstresses — accomplished what all the aerospace giants couldn’t. Itâs a long way from the shop floor of Playtex to the surface of the moon, and this incredible story tracks how it happened. Marc Shmugerâs Global Produce brought the project to the studio, and Shmuger and Tom McNulty will produce with Alexandra Loewy overseeing development. Kat Likkel and John Hoberg are exec producers and Jon Berg and Racheline Benveniste are overseeing for the studio.
Brendan Bragg, Jordana Mollick and Dan Ventresca have joined the literary department at LA-based Haven Entertainment. Bragg and Mollick come to Haven from Black Sheep Management & Productions which they founded in 2009 and Ventresca moves from Gersh. Bragg and Mollick are currently in production on Life Partners starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs and Adam Brody. They’re also producing Beth Schacter’s feature A Virgin Mary starring Abigail Breslin, Addison McQuigg’s Sonata and Steven Feder’s Hooking Up. Ventresca joins Haven as a literary manager. His clients at Gersh included Olympus Has Fallen scribes Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt. Haven Entertainment most recently produced A Band Called Death which won the 24 beats per second Audience Award at SXSW and sold to Drafthouse and the documentary Milius which also screened at SXSW.
EXCLUSIVE: Former 24 executive producer David Fury has closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind the Emmy-winning real-time Fox drama. Under the pact, Fury will become the first writer to join the upcoming Fox event series 24: Live Another Day, joining former 24 showrunner Howard Gordon, who is behind the new installment. Additionally, Fury is working on the high-profile FX drama project Tyrant, executive produced by Gordon and produced by 20th TV’s cable division Fox 21. “We are huge fans of David at this studio and are thrilled to welcome him back,” 20th TV chairman Dana Walden said. “Howard Gordon has a shortlist of writers whom he relies on enormously, and David is one of them. He was hugely important to 24 over the course of its run, and bringing him back for Live Another Day was quite frankly a no-brainer.” During his stint on 24, WME-repped Fury shared in the series’ best drama series Emmy, as he did for ABC’s Lost, where he served as co-executive producer and received a writing nomination for the episode “Walkabout.” He also served as co-executive producer on Fringe and executive producer on the 20th TV-produced Buffy The Vampire Slayer.