Free Birds tells the tale of two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. The stellar voice cast includes Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, and Dwight Howard. Jimmy Hayward directs and Scott Mosier, John Strauss and David I. Stern produce. Hayward and Mosier wrote the screenplay based on Strauss and Stern’s story. The pic from Relativity and Reel FX bows wide on November 1. Check out the trailer:
Showtime has put in development a single-camera, half-hour comedy project executive produced by singer John Legend and his manager, Atom Factory’s Troy Carter. Written by Austin Winsberg (Gossip Girl) and produced by Universal Cable Prods., the project takes place in the world of high-profile music managers. It will draw on the music business experience of both Legend and Carter, the founder/chairman/CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment management company where he also manages Lady Gaga. Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce through their Get Lifted Film Co., which has a pod deal with UCP, along with Carter and Winsberg. Legend has a long-standing relationship with Showtime. Last year, he did a music special which was in series consideration at the pay cable network and performed at Showtime’s pre-Emmy party. Winsberg, who wrote upcoming musical First Date, is repped by CAA, Trevor Engelson at Underground, and Warren Dern; Get Lifted is with CAA and Nina Shaw and Abel Lezcano.
Michael Cera plays an American expat road tripping with three Chilean brothers in Crystal Fairy, one of two Chile-set Sundance 2013 debuts starring Cera and directed by Sebastián Silva. (Their other film, Magic Magic, hits home video August 6 via Sony.) Gaby Hoffman co-stars as a free spirit who unexpectedly joins the group’s quest to find a legendary hallucinogenic cactus. Sundance Selects has set a July 12 limited theatrical release. Watch the trailer here:http://www.vimg.net/streaming/deadline/crystalfairy-tlr1_h480p.mp4
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 19, 2013) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to director Billy Federighi’s award-winning debut feature ADVENTURES IN THE SIN BIN, starring Michael Seater, Jeff Garlin, Gillian Jacobs, Bo Burnham, and Tim Blake Nelson. With a screenplay by Christopher Storer, the film was produced by Dante Federighi. Phase 4 will release the film on October 4, 2013 in theaters and on demand.
Brian (Seater), is a timid teenager who loans his vintage van, the SIN BIN, to his friends for their sexual escapades, while he in turn remains a frustrated virgin. Upon meeting a helpful classmate and his girlfriend, Brian finds himself as part of an awkward love triangle, while learning the art of wooing women.
Winner of the Best FutureWave Feature Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, ADVENTURES IN THE SIN BIN captures the absurd world of high school romantic relationships with a cast that blends fresh faces with established talent.
The deal for ADVENTURES IN THE SIN BIN was negotiated by Phase 4′s Larry Greenberg with David Dinerstein on behalf of the producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose directorial debut was 2009′s Nowhere Boy about the early life of John Lennon, has been secured to direct Fifty Shades Of Grey, the sizzling novel adaptation from Universal Pictures and Focus Features. Fellow Brit Kelly Marcel has written the script for the movie, based on EL James’ bestseller that follows the relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca are producing alongside James. “Sam’s unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia’s relationship to life,” said De Luca. “EL James’ characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed, and Sam is a natural fit.”
This is a hot job, and rumors have been flying about directors like Gus Van Sant, Susanne Bier and Joe Wright in the running, but Taylor-Johnson is a surprise choice. In addition to Nowhere Boy, which garnered her a pair of BAFTA nominations and an eventual husband in that film’s star Aaron Taylor-Johnson (of Kick-Ass fame), she had only directed the short film Love You More which was in Cannes in 2008. She also has ties to De Luca — the pair are in development on a film based on the Robert Goorlick novel A Reliable Wife which De Luca is also producing. Before landing the Nowhere Boy gig, Taylor-Johnson was a well-known photographer and visual artist whose work captured and explored issues of human sexuality.
Inside AMPAS Board Of Governors’ Meeting: Conflict Of Interest & Latino Damage Control (Joke About Being “Old White Guy Club”)
EXCLUSIVE: Few things in Hollywood are more secret than the Board Of Governors meetings of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In fact, an insider tells me that, at one of the most recent conclaves, AMPAS President Hawk Koch ”went around the room asking if ‘anybody is friends with Nikki Finke?’ before beginning.” (Related: Hey, Academy, I Was Hiding Under The Rug) So let me tell you what was discussed at a recent session:
– Governors argued pro and con instituting a so-called ‘conflict of interest’ clause for themselves. At the present time, they do not have one. “This was specifically related to Academy Board Members receiving lucrative contracts from the Academy for things like behind-the-scenes footage, Oscars documentaries, etc. And they’re having first dibs on these contracts,” my insider tells me, clarifying, “The argument for adding a conflict of interest clause was that ‘it looks bad that we don’t have one’ and ’would be bad publicity if it got out’. The argument against a conflict of interest clause was this: that although it may look bad, every member on the board is talented and should be allowed to work for the Academy if the Academy deems them worthy and fit to do so.” The suggested solution was allowing governors to take a leave of absence from the board to work on projects which the Academy directly underwrites. I’m told one Governor in particular is shooting a behind-the-Oscars TV documentary for the Turner Classic Movies cable channel to air during the next awards season “and the board unanimously voted to allow him to be grandfathered in,” according to my source. No final decision was made.
– Governors at the board meeting discussed the failure by the 2013 Academy Awards’ In Memoriam segment to mention prominent Latina actress Lupe Ontiveros and how that snub ”may have damaged their appeal to Latin Americans,” my insider says. The governors decided ”that they need to reach out to minorities more often. And they joked about the Academy being an old white guy club and how that appears to other demographics.” Outrage erupted after the Mexican-American star with a career spanning four decades in movies/TV died in July at age 69 but was omitted from the tribute sequence. Latino viewers took their protests to Twitter and an open letter addressed to the Academy was written by Alex Nogales, CEO/president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. He noted that Ontiveros had applied for AMPAS membership and been denied, despite the support of Miguel Sandoval and Edward James Olmos. In April, members of the National Latino Media Council met with AMPAS bigwigs to discuss the dustup and find ways to increase Latino representation among Academy membership. Ontiveros is best known for Selena, As Good As It Gets, Real Women Have Curves and The Goonies but she made hundreds of films and TV shows.
– The Governors also debated allowing other mediums to be nominated for Academy Awards, not just theatrical releases but also New Media films. Michael Moore, who’s on the AMPAS Board, strenuously objected. He held up his iPhone and said, “If I’m watching Spartacus on this, I’m watching something. But it’s not a movie. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s not a movie.” Moore did suggest the Academy create a fund to financially help small market theaters
Oprah’s Lifeclass, featuring Oprah and life coach Iyanla Vanzant, returns to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network‘s primetime lineup with a special 90-minute episode at 9 PM Sunday, July 7. In the first episode, Winfrey and Vanzant continue the conversation on the subject of fatherless sons in America. It will be followed by two new original episodes at 9 PM on July 14 and July 21 in which they’ll expand the conversation to address “Daddyless Daughters”. Iyanla: Fix My Life is back at 9 PM on July 27 with five new episodes that will address a wide range of topics impacting people from all walks of life. Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s returns Saturday, July 27 at 10 PM with Miss Robbie and her son, Tim, debating the shutdown of their original Sweetie Pie’s soul food restaurant location and Tim facing the reality of life as a single dad. Oprah: Where Are They Now?, returns Sunday July 28 at 10 PM. The new season features former Oprah show guests, newsmakers and celebrities and follow-ups.
Timing is everything. Shailene Woodley‘s Mary Jane may be out of Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 2, but she shows off the chops that won her and co-star Miles Teller a Special Jury Award at Sundance in the first trailer for James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now. Teller stars as a hard-partying high school senior who strikes up a relationship with the nice girl in school (Woodley). A24 releases the comedy-drama August 2. Check it out:
OddLot Entertainment and its EVP of Production and Development Linda McDonough have sealed a deal in which McDonough will produce feature films and television full time. McDonough will continue as a producer on OddLot’s upcoming tent-pole feature Ender’s Game which is being released domestically by Summit Entertainment on November 1, and several other projects are being planned. McDonough has been with OddLot for the past ten years, overseeing all aspects of the company’s production and development slate. She served as executive producer on several titles, including John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and the Nicolas Winding Refn-helmed Drive. McDonough was a producer on From Prada To Nada, which was the flagship feature film for Pantelion, Lionsgate and Televisa’s joint venture distribution company. McDonough also served as an associate producer on the cult pic Green Street Hooligans. Prior to joining OddLot, McDonough served four years as VP Development at Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen’s company, Flower Films, and before that held positions at 1013 Productions (The X-Files) and 20th Century Fox Television.
Glenn Geller To Run Current Programming For CBS & CBS Studios, David Brownfield Segues To Development Deal At CBS Studio
CBS is combining the current programming departments of the network and sibling studio CBS TV Studios. CBS veteran Glenn Geller, most recently SVP and head of current programming for CBS TV Studios, has been promoted to EVP Current Programming for the CBS Network TV Entertainment Group, overseeing the newly consolidated division reporting to both CBS TV Studios president David Stapf and CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.
David Brownfield, who has headed CBS Entertainment’s current programming department since the 2004 reorganization following the CBS-Paramount merger when he succeeded Stapf, is segueing to producing. He is staying in the CBS fold, signing a development deal with CBS TV Studios. Before joining CBS, Brownfield was a co-producer and writer on the ABC comedy Boy Meets World. “The timing is right to make this move,” said Tassler and Stapf. “David has wanted to return to writing and producing television, and the majority of our series are now produced in-house. It makes sense creatively and operationally to have one streamlined current operation to support our shows.”
UPDATED: Despite shooting a handful of scenes as Mary Jane Watson in Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Shailene Woodley will not be appearing in the superhero sequel after all, the studio confirms. The Mary Jane character – the most famous of Peter Parker’s comic book love interests – will instead be pushed to the third film so that the rebooted franchise can focus on the relationship between Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) first established in 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man. “I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship,” director Marc Webb explained in a statement. “Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her.” It’s unclear if Woodley’s already-filmed scenes will be saved for use in the third film, which has a ways to go before it hits theaters in 2016.
That timing calls more into question for the hot Woodley, whose starring run on ABC Family’s The Secret Life Of The American Teenager just ended after five seasons clearing her to focus on her burgeoning film career. A breakout thanks to 2011′s Oscar-winning The Descendants, Woodley has the award-winning Sundance hit The Spectacular Now in theaters in August and next March opens her first franchise, Summit‘s Divergent, which already has a sequel in the works. She’s also lined up novel adaptation The Fault In Our Stars for Fox 2000 and director Josh Boone. Even if Mary Jane is introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2016, will Woodley still be the one playing her?
The veteran newspaper editor and reporter is following Jim Bates and the late Mark Saylor from the Los Angeles Times to the Century City offices of Sitrick And Company. “Like many of my new partners who came from journalism, I didn’t think I would ever join a PR firm, but Sitrick is not exactly a traditional or ordinary public relations firm,” explained Sallie Hofmeister in her announcement. She was formerly Assistant Managing Editor directing all arts and entertainment coverage both digitally and in print until LAT Editor Davan Maharaj exited her a year ago almost to the day. “I speak for everyone at the firm when I say we are very thrilled to have Sallie join our team,” Mike Sitrick said in the announcement. “It takes a certain combination of judgment and skill to succeed in this business and I am confident Sallie has both.” If you’re going to do PR, Sitrick’s self-processed strategic and crisis flackery though certainly controversial is more interesting than most. And while I’ve written harshly about Sallie in the past, we’ve become better acquainted over recent months, and I wish her well in her new gig. (Hey, she gave me this announcement first…)
Vince Flynn, bestselling author of the Mitch Rapp political thriller series of novels, died today after a long battle with prostate cancer, his rep ICM Partners said. He was 47. Flynn’s memorable Rapp character, an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent, was the focus of 14 books including American Assassin, Kill Shot, Transfer Of Power, The Third Option, Separation Of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent To Kill, Act Of Treason, Extreme Measures, Pursuit Of Honor and The Last Man. CBS Films optioned feature film rights to the Rapp character with the intention of making a character-based, action thriller movie franchise. It later offered $10M to Chris Hemsworth to star in the first pic in that deal, American Assassin, but Hemsworth passed because of scheduling issues.
The casting directors for Disney‘s new Star Wars movie — April Webster and Alyssa Weisberg in the U.S. and Nina Gold in the UK — have sent casting breakdowns to agents. It provides the first real clues about what’s happening in the next movie in the franchise, which Michael Arndt is writing and JJ Abrams is directing. Abrams said recently that he expects production to start on Star Wars — Episode VII at the beginning of 2014. Kudos to Bleeding Cool for scooping this list, saying these are lead roles and that casting is officially underway in the UK, where the movie will lens. (UPDATED: Looks like movie fansite Schmoesknow had the breakdown first the day before, so credit where credit’s due.) Here’s the list of characters in play sent around, so have fun trying to figure out who’s who:
A young man aged between 20 and 25, witty and smart, fit but not classically handsome,
Man in late twenties, also fit, but this one is handsome and confident.
Late teenage girl, independent, good sense of humour, also… physically fit .
Second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and physically fit.
Man in his forties, obviously physically fit, this one is a military type.
A man of around thirty or so, this one is an intellectual type.
Finally, a guy aged around seventy, strong opinions and tough.
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 became Disney’s 5th release to cross the $400 million mark at the domestic box office. The film has now earned over $1.2 billion and is the #5 film of all time globally. It also recently passed Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and is currently the #6 film of all time at the international box office with more than $803 million. After the 2nd biggest domestic opening in history with $174.1 million, Iron Man 3 crossed the $1 billion threshold globally in 23 days, making it Disney’s 6th billion dollar and 2nd highest-grossing release of all time, behind only Marvel’s The Avengers. It has surpassed the total gross of The Avengers in China, Finland, Hong Kong, Korea, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand, and Ukraine, as well as Malaysia and Vietnam, where it is the highest grossing film of all time.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected five students to participate in its 2013 summer internship program, with placements at the Tech Council, Dolby Laboratories, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The only one of its kind, the Academy-sponsored program is designed to nurture the next generation of motion picture technologists by providing real-world experience to students interested in careers in motion picture technology and scientific research.
The 2013 Science and Technology Council summer interns and their internship hosts are:
Victor Mateevitsi, University of Illinois at Chicago – Pixar Animation Studios
Ritvik Menon, University of Pennsylvania – Walt Disney Animation Studios
Jaclyn Pytlarz, Rochester Institute of Technology – Science and Technology Council
Wei Wang, Texas A&M University – Pixar Animation Studios
Xi Xu, University of Illinois at Chicago – Dolby Laboratories
Drafthouse Films has added another curio to their eclectic slate. They’ve unearthed 1979′s The Visitor, a phantasmagorical sci-fi oddity starring Lance Henriksen, Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, and iconic film directors John Huston and Sam Peckinpah in the tale of an alien Christ figure battling a demonic 8-year-old girl and her pet hawk for the fate of the universe. One of the crop of Hollywood knockoffs that proliferated in Italian cinema in the 1970s and ’80s, the Italy/US co-production from producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and bodybuilder-turned-director Michael J. Paradise mashes elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and Star Wars in what Drafthouse Creative Director Evan Husney describes as “joyfully delirious” experience. The Austin-based distributor has plans for a theatrical, home video and VOD/digital release later in the year from an HD restoration of the film. The bizarre pic has been a must-see on the late night circuit for genre devotees for years. COO James Emanuel Shapiro negotiated the deal on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Fabrizio Giona on behalf of the film’s rights holder, producer Ovidio G. Assonitis.
Los Angeles CA—June 19, 2013—Shine America has named Rob Hughes Vice President, Marketing and Kevin Ivey, Executive Director, Research, it was announced today by Vivi Zigler, President, Shine 360˚ & Digital, Shine America. Hughes, who was formerly Executive Director, Marketing & Communications for Saban Brands, will oversee all day-to-day marketing responsibilities for Shine America including working with all network and digital partners on Shine America series initiatives, developing international marketing materials for Shine America produced series, as well as marketing Shine America itself. Ivey, who was formerly Vice President, Program Research for NBCUniversal cable network’s Syfy and Chiller, is charged with creating a new research department for Shine America and supplying strategic research data to the company’s scripted, unscripted, digital, publicity, Shine Latino and Shine 360˚ teams. Both Hughes and Ivey will work out of Shine America’s Los Angeles office and report to Zigler.
Behind The Candelabra scribe Richard LaGravenese is writing and directing The Last 5 Years, the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical. The pic begins shooting this week in NY, with CAA handling domestic sales and The Exchange shopping international. Anna Kendrick, who saw success in last year’s music-based pic Pitch Perfect, is starring with Tony and Grammy nominee Jeremy Jordan. The musical is a deconstruction of the love affair and marriage of Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress, and Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist. From Lucky Monkey Pictures and Sh-K-Boom Records, Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, LaGravenese and Janet Brenner are producers, and Steve Norman is co-producer.