Lots going on in this first trailer for NBC‘s new pirate drama. Crossbones stars a white-goateed John Malkovich as Blackbeard — Genius. Madman. Legend., we’re told — who reigns over a rogues gallery of outlaws and miscreant sailors in 1715. He comes up against Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), an assassin masquerading as a physician who is sent to the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, and tasked with taking out the ruthless and much-feared Blackbeard. Swashbuckling, torture, explosions and pillowing ensue. The cast also includes Claire Foy, David Hoflin, Yasmine Al Massri and Tracy Ifeachor. Have a look, ye landlubbers:
EXCLUSIVE: Gemfilms and Hole in One Productions have tapped Need for Speed writer George Gatins to script faith-based tale Golfing for God, adapted from the book Golfing for God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth by Roland Merullo. Story tracks ex-golfing pro Hank Fins-Winston, who travels back to Earth from Heaven accompanying God, in the form of a 35-year-old woman, to help Her boost her golf game and is called upon to resolve his own unfinished business. Meg Montagnino-Jarrett, Peter Sobiloff, Andy Zolot and Kerry Orent are producing for Gemfilms/Hole in One Productions. Gatins is coming off the automotive racing pic Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul and exec produced 2010′s She’s Out Of My League. He’s repped by UTA and attorney Fred Toczek. Murello is repped by Lynne Pleshette. The deal was negotiated by Peter Nichols of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman on behalf of the producers.
EXCLUSIVE: The classic Peeps marshmallow candies could be making the leap from Easter baskets to the big screen via filmmaker Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, Underdog), who has optioned film and TV rights to the sugary confections along with his producing partners Brent Tinter and Brian E. Rochlin. Bethlehem, PA-based candy company Just Born moves $2 billion of the baby chicks and bunny-shaped treats a year domestically and has started to branch out into Peeps-themed merchandising in recent years. The company sprung for a full-length animation feature pitch from Rifkin & Co. to adapt Peeps into a Lego Movie-esque family epic set the night before a Peeps diorama contest, when a wayward Peep gets misplaced and must adventure through the fantasy lands of different-themed dioramas before the contest’s judging begins.
Rifkin got the idea from watching his niece and nephew construct their own Peeps diorama for a school project. That led him to discover the elaborate annual contests hosted by the likes of the Washington Post, whose winning entry this year was a black and white diorama of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech – fashioned, of course, entirely out of the sugar-dusted marshmallows. Read More »
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom run through all the many announcements for different segments of the Cannes Film Festival the past week, from the main competition to Critics Week to the Directors Fortnight. The big news: lots of female directors, lots of Canadians. David and Nancy also update what happened to that rumored sale of the UK’s Channel 5 and Malta’s efforts to boost its attractiveness as a filming location in the middle of the Mediterranean with better tax incentives. They wrap up with their weekly peek at news and trends in the international box office, as the Amazing Spider-Man 2 began to spin its web, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Rio 2 and Noah all passed major milestones.
Global Showbiz Watch podcast 35 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch podcast 35 (.M4A version)
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has closed a 7-figure deal for U.S. distribution rights to Hector And The Search For Happiness, the Peter Chelsom-directed comedy that stars Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stllan Skarsgard, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer. Relativity has dated the film for a September 26 platform opening, expanding wider on October 3. The script was written by Maria von Heland, Chelsom & Tinker Lindsay.
Related: Simon Pegg On A ‘Search For Happiness’
The film is based on the bestselling novel by François Lelord, and Pegg plays a disillusioned psychiatrist searching the globe to find the secret to happiness. The film is a co-production between Egoli Tossell Film, Erfttal Film and Screen Siren Pictures film, in association with Head Gear Films and Film House Germany. It was produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). It was co-produced by Wild Bunch Germany and Construction Film. The producers are Judy Tossell, Klaus Dohle, Christine Haebler and Trish Dolman, with Phil Hunt, Compton Ross and Christian Angermayer. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mitch Hurwitz is staying in the Netflix fold with a multi-year deal, a rare pact with a writer-producer for the streaming giant. Under the multi-tier agreement, the Arrested Development creator will create and produce new original series for the Internet TV network through his banner The Hurwitz Company. Additionally, he will develop projects with other creators as a non-writing executive producer and will consult for Netflix on comedy series. Hurwitz first worked with Netflix on a new season of his Emmy-winning comedy series Arrested Development, which was released last year. “We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Mitch’s inventive approach to Arrested Development — one of the top TV comedies of this generation — was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”
Related: Netflix Says It May Raise Prices For New Customers
After winning six Emmys for its three-year run on Fox from 2003-06 — including three for Hurwitz, for best series and two for writing — Arrested Development‘s fourth season on Netflix earned three more Emmy nominations for the show, bringing the total to 25. Hurwitz executive produced and co-directed Season 4, and it was that collaboration with Netflix, which Hurwitz describes as being “the best professional experience of my life, even topping some of my favorite unprofessional experiences,” that led to the new deal. “It is incredibly inspiring to get to produce for Netflix, a company that not only doesn’t resist change but is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone in forging it,” Hurwitz said. “The fact that I’m also getting one month of their streaming right to my TV or Xbox free … well, it really takes the sting out of buying that Xbox.”
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Andy Fickman has been set by Millennium Films to direct My Owner’s Wedding, a romantic comedy about two eligible young women, the guy they both want, and his dog. The latter will go to any length to make sure his owner winds up with the right girl. Fickman is coming off Parental Guidance and helmed the hits Race To Witch Mountain and The Game Plan. He is also exec producer and is directing the Disney Channel’s series Liv And Maddie and is producing and directing the Off-Broadway production Heathers The Musical, based on the cult teen movie. Fickman is directing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, with Kevin James reprising for Sony, and Fickman’s producing the self-explanatory Scouts Vs. Zombies for Paramount.
My Owner’s Wedding was scripted by Robert Cary (Anything But Love) and Jonathan Tolins, whose Buyer And Cellar is playing off-Broadway. The film is produced by Cary, Tolins and Mark Gill, with Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Alan Gasmer serving as executive producers. Fickman is repped by WME, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson.
The WGA is preparing to bar prolific TV movie producer Larry Levinson from ever using guild writers again unless he pays up on millions he allegedly owes in unpaid residuals. In the past 20 years, Larry Levinson Productions has produced nearly 200 family-oriented TV movies, most of which were made for the Hallmark Channel or in association with Hallmark Entertainment. The guild is currently pursuing arbitration claims against Levinson’s various production entities for unpaid residuals and interest owed on 38 of those TV movies. In a recent letter to a group of writers who Levinson allegedly stiffed, the guild stated that “Levinson continues to demonstrate an egregious, ongoing failure to pay residuals.” An arbitration hearing is set for August 14.
In its notice of arbitration (read it here), the WGA claimed that two of Levinson’s companies, Hardstone Entertainment and Branwen Productions, violated the guild’s contract by failing to pay residuals on dozens of TV movies; by failing to report the gross receipts of the movies and how often they were rerun on television; and by failing to make pension and health contributions on those unpaid residuals. Read More »
This is a risky exercise. Jurists often like to play devil’s advocate when they question lawyers in open court. But the comments that Supreme Court justices made today in the hearing pitting Aereo against broadcasters likely will provide the only clues about what investors and others should expect ahead of a ruling expected in June. Guggenheim analyst Paul Gallant says he senses that “a majority of Justices would shut down Aereo if there were no potential implications on cloud storage.” But if that’s an open question, then “our guess is that the Court will find some way to thread the needle and say that Aereo is inconsistent with the 1976 Copyright Act, or send the case back to the lower courts with some negative (but not conclusive) commentary toward Aereo.”
Related: Aereo Case Reactions: Did CBS Shares Fall In Response To Supreme Court’s Questions?
The basic debate: Aereo says it’s merely a technology provider that enables subscribers to privately exercise their right to view signals from the free, public airwaves. Broadcasters counter that Aereo steals their content by packaging and reselling programming to the public without paying.
Related: The ABCs Of Aereo: What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To The Supreme Court?
Here are a few of the more interesting comments from the jurists as they prodded lawyers about the key arguments:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Why aren’t they [Aereo] cable companies?… I’m looking at the – everybody’s been arguing this case as if for sure they’re not. But I look at the definition of a cable company, and it seems to fit. …
Justice Elena Kagan: If Aereo has the hardware in its warehouse as opposed to Aereo selling the hardware to the particular end user, that is going to make all the difference in the world as to whether we have a public performance or not a public performance.
Chief Justice John Roberts: You can park your car in your own garage or you can park it in a public garage. You can go to RadioShack and buy an antenna and a DVR or you can rent those facilities somewhere else from Aereo. They’ve – they’ve got an antenna. They’ll let you use it when you need it and they can, you know, record the stuff as well and let you pick it up when you need it.
Related: Chief Justice Slams Aereo At Supreme Court Hearing
Read More »
Like The Game, which set ratings records when revived by BET, another comedy series targeting black audiences came back roaring after a lengthy break from television. Last night’s Season 4 bow of the Sony Pictures TV-produced animated series The Boondocks on Adult Swim set series highs across all key demos, including adults 18-34 (1.40 million) and adults 18-49 (1.9 million), up 50% from the show’s previous season averages. It was Adult Swim’s most-watched primetime telecast among key adult demographics in at least five years. The Boondocks premiere was the No. 1 TV program in all of television last night — broadcast or cable — among Adult Swim’s target 18-34 demographic, topping NBC’s The Voice (1.36 million) and TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage (1.16 million).
Related: Adult Swim Greenlights Live-Action Comedy Series ‘Black Jesus’
Read More »
A huge slug of option awards propelled the Starz CEO to a compensation package that’s close to what Jeff Bewkes made at Time Warner, a much bigger company. Chris Albrecht benefited from a new contract that coincided with the premium cable channel company’s spinoff from Liberty Media in January 2013, according to the company proxy just filed at the SEC. His package: $1.3M salary, $27.9M option awards, $1.3M non equity incentives, and $16,134 in other compensation. Not much commentary in the proxy about Albrecht’s achievements, but Starz shares basically doubled in value in 2013 following the spin off. His compensation accounted for 71% of the pie for the company’s five top execs, up from 63% in 2012. Corporate governance watchdogs also would consider it way out of whack for the company. Albrecht’s pay was 9.9 times the median for his closest lieutenants, up from 6.7 times in 2012. Many governance specialists flash a warning sign about a CEO’s power when he or she makes more than three times the median for other execs.
Jeremy Davies (Justified) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break) have been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Davies, repped by Paradigm, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen, will play Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a shifty rogue whose only thought is for his own survival who reluctantly joins the Rangers to avoid being executed for desertion. Knepper, repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management, will play Empresario Buckley, an unshaven bombastic slob. He is the only law in the town of Victoria, and he abuses his position to further his own agenda and make himself rich in the process. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: JJ Abrams, Matthew Carnahan, Jane Espenson, Hart Hanson, Ronald D. Moore, Kurt Sutter, and Joss Whedon are just some of the powerhouse television creators who appear in new docu Showrunners, from writer/director Des Doyle. Pic is the first feature length film to explore the rising power of the TV showrunner and the behind the scenes process that goes into making a hit show. Doyle brought the WonderCon crowds a taste over the weekend, appearing alongside Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory), Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Husbands), Steve Callaghan (Family Guy), John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarians), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Revolution), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Chris Carter (The X-Files, The After), and Showrunners co-producer Ryan Patrick McGuffey to unveil a clip from the film, which you can check out exclusively on Deadline below. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Spurlock‘s production company Warrior Poets has partnered with indie distributors Virgil Films and Abramorama to form the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The plan is to acquire and release distinctive fiction and documentary features theatrically and on cable VOD. Two films are first up under the new venture and will be released this year: A Brony Tale, the docu that premieres Saturday at Tribeca and centers on the cultural phenomenon of men obsessed with Hasbro’s My Little Pony, the magical talking horse toys. It is set for a July bow. The other is Two: The Story Of Roman & Nyro, from Heather Winters, the exec producer of Spurlock’s Oscar-nominated breakout docu Super-Size Me. It follows rock songwriter Desmond Child and his longtime partner Curtis Shaw Child as they raise their two sons.
Related: Tribeca Trailer: ‘A Brony Tale’
Under the model, films the companies discover that have targeted audiences but that otherwise might be overlooked will be released via the label in 20-30 theatrical markets just before cable VOD bows. Read More »
“Kidnap? Crashing a wedding? Stealing a diamond? All right, we’re in.” Well, that and Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan as a divorced couple who head to Paris after being screwed out of their pension by their company’s new owners. Will the City of Light charm the former spouses as they try to right the corporate wrong? Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte co-star in the pic from writer-director Joel Hopkins. Ketchup Entertainment, which acquired the comedy after its Toronto premiere last year, will open it May 23. Here’s a peek:
Hot off her Best Supporting Actress Oscar win, Lupita Nyong’o has signed with CAA. The 2012 Yale School of Drama grad made her feature debut in the Steve McQueen-helmed Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave playing cotton plantation slave Patsey opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender. Nyong’o was a darling of Oscar season, storming red carpets and media appearances in what marked her breakthrough year during which she racked up numerous critics’ awards, a SAG Award, and Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. The Kenyan-Mexican actress also appeared in Universal’s airborne thriller Non-Stop with Liam Neeson. She’s also repped by D2 Management and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.
EXCLUSIVE: When seasoned agents leave one major percentery for another, the tale is told by how many clients change addresses with them. Back in March, Stuart Manashil made the leap to WME after spending the past 6 1/2 years at CAA and before that spent six years at UTA. In what marks the third case — Dan Aloni and Warren Zavala were the first two — where agents pried their clients away from CAA, Manashil has strengthened WME’s writer-director roster quite a bit.
Related: Selena Gomez Signs With WME
Here’s who he brought with him: Read More »
FX Productions has closed an overall production deal with Noah Hawley, the writer, executive producer and showrunner of Fargo, FX‘s first limited series as part of the cable network’s push in event programming. The two-year agreement for Hawley and his 26 Keys banner covers development for all television, both cable and broadcast. “As is evident by the universal acclaim and extraordinary reviews pouring in for Fargo, Noah Hawley is one of the most talented writer/producers in this business,” said FX Networks and FX Prods President of Original Programming Eric Schrier. Inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers movie, Fargo tells a new story. Hawley wrote all episodes of the limited series, which earned great reviews. It launched to so-so premiere audience of 2.65 million but has grown in time-shifted viewing, amassing 6.3 million viewers in Live+3. “Making Fargo for FX has been the highlight of my career,” Hawley said.”A writer can search his or her whole career for a network partner who truly understands and encourages their vision. For me, the search is over. When John Landgraf announced ‘at FX, we’d rather make something great for somebody, than something good for everybody,’ I knew I’d found a home.”