EXCLUSIVE: Level 1 Entertainment, which had set Michael Steinberger’s wine counterfeiting Vanity Fair article A Vintage Crime as a dramatic feature, is being rebottled. The story will be told as a documentary to be helmed by Barry Avrich. His docus include The Last Mogul on Lew Wasserman, Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story and Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life Of Garth Drabinsky.
A Vintage Crime focuses on the exploits of wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan, who drove the elite and secretive world of rare-wine collectors into a frenzy with his extravagant showmanship and record-setting deals. Kurniawan conned the biggest players in the fine wine market, including prominent tycoons and entertainment moguls, before he made the mistake that ultimately led to his arrest and the discovery of a wine counterfeiting factory in his suburban Los Angeles home. Charged with mail and wire fraud in connection with the sale of fake rare wines, Kurniawan was convicted in a Manhattan federal court last month and is now facing up to 40 years in jail.
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The documentary about the notorious Mexican drug lord is particularly timely now that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been captured after more than a decade on the run. The Legend Of Shorty chronicles the hunt for the near mythical figure who is alternately described as a brilliant business visionary, an amoral and ruthless murderer, a revolutionary hero and a latter-day Robin Hood. Directors Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos venture into Mexico, where they gained access to El Chapo’s inner circle. The pic from Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man, Man On Wire) is having its world premiere today in the Documentary Spotlight section at SXSW. Here’s an exclusive look:
EXCLUSIVE: Mexican actor-singer-heartthrob Jaime Camil is making his US pilot debut with a co-starring role opposite Gina Rodriguez in the CW‘s drama Jane The Virgin. Based on the successful Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, Jane The Virgin centers on Jane (Rodriguez), a hardworking religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated. International telenovela star Camil will play the series regular role of Rubio, who happens to be a world-famous telenovela star with a surprising connection to Jane. Camil, who is coming off back-to-back hit Spanish-language series in Mexico and the U.S. with Que Pobres Ran Ricos and Poy Ella Soy Eva, is currently seen on Univision’s new rom-com novela, Qué Pobres Tan Ricos. He made a successful feature debut in the US as the star of bilingual Patelion/Lionsgate hit Pulling Strings, which ranked as the third highest-grossing foreign language film of 2013. Additionally, a recent guest appearance by Camil on Devious Maids delivered strong ratings for the Lifetime series, which also has Latin roots. Jane the Virgin, from CBS Studios, is written by Jennie Snyder Urman and directed by Brad Silberling. Camil is with ROAR, WME and attorney James Mandelbaum.
20th Century Fox Television has promoted Jennifer Carreras to VP Comedy Development and Mandy Summers to VP Current Programming. Additionally, former Glamour editor Jen Weinberg has joined the studio as VP Talent Relations and Events. Carreras reports to EVP Development Michael Thorn, Summers to EVP Current Programming Jeffrey Glaser, and Weinberg to SVP Corporate Communications and Publicity Chris Alexander.
Carreras, who joined 20th TV in July 2007 as assistant to Chairman and CEO Dana Walden, most recently had been Director of Comedy Development, shepherding the development of this season’s high-concept new series Enlisted for Fox broadcast network. She oversees a roster of producers, writers and directors for the studio including Mike Royce and The Walcott Co. (Jake Johnson and Max Winkler). She has been working on a broad slate of development this season, including projects from Neil Goldman and Garret Donovan with Kevin Hart, Phil Rosenthal, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman with Mike White, Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser, Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux with Jenny Bicks and Jay Baruchel.
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Former Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman is back at ABC with a lead role in another hourlong project, pilot American Crime. Huffman has closed a deal to play the female lead opposite Timothy Hutton in the drama, written and exec produced by 12 Years A Slave‘s John Ridley. It centers on the racially charged murder of a war veteran and the subsequent trial, which are examined through the personal lives of the players involved. Huffman will play Barb Skokie, Russ’ (Hutton) stoic ex-wife and mother of the killed young man, Matt. She raised her two sons alone in public housing while her husband was off gambling. She still resents living as the only single white woman in a racially charged environment and being treated accordingly by the other occupants. Determined to hold someone accountable for Matt’s murder, Barb plans to stay close to the investigation and get answers.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
UPDATE, 10:38 AM: Unsurprisingly, Aereo is not happy with the denial today of its attempt to overturn the six-state injunction against the Barry Diller-backed service. “We are disappointed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 2:1 decision denying our request to stay the injunction in the 10th Circuit,” said spokesperson Virginia Lam Abrams today after the court’s order became public. “We believe that Aereo’s individual, cloud-based antenna and DVR technology falls squarely within the law and we look forward to presenting our case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
PREVIOUS, 9:44 AM: If you felt that the Aereo legal roller coaster went fast before, welcome to Utah. Just over a week after getting a 14-day reprieve from the 6-state injunction it had been slapped with on February 19, the Barry Diller-backed streaming service today took a hit from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. A panel of judges on the federal court denied Aereo’s emergency motion to stay the injunction.
“Aereo has not made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its appeal,”said two of the judges in the 2-page order (read it here) today. “Nor has Aereo demonstrated that the other factors weigh in its favor. We therefore deny Aereo’s emergency motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal, .While Judge Harris Hartz says he would have granted the motion, his colleagues’ order means that Aereo’s services … Read More »
Katie Holmes has landed a series regular role in ABC’s Richard LaGravenese drama pilot. In the vein of Dangerous Liaisons, the untitled project is set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites, Philip Fitzgerald Julien (Rufus Sewell) and Margot Worth Cole, who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others. Holmes will play Ann, a woman of education and breeding who, with her husband, runs a philanthropic foundation that helps bring clean water to African villages.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
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Bob Berney‘s company has grabbed all U.S. rights to the latest from the team behind the Lionsgate slasher pic You’re Next. The Guest, from director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and Snoot Entertainment, follows a family who takes in a young soldier who claims to be a good friend of their son who was killed in action. But when people in their town start turning up dead, the teenage daughter becomes suspicious of their guest. Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick and Sheila Kelley star in the film, which is screening as a Midnighter at SXSW after bowing at Sundance in January. CAA brokered the deal for The Guest. Picturehouse is planning a fall release.
Related: SXSW: Oscilloscope Acquires Joel Potrykus’ Comedy ‘Buzzard’
John Corbett, who has been straddling careers as an actor and a musician, will blend the two with a starring opposite Denis Leary in FX‘s music comedy pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. Written by Leary, the project centers on Johnny Rock (Leary), the magnificently talented lead singer of New York’s legendary early-’90s band The Heathens. His best friend Flash (Corbett) was being called the next No. 1 lead guitar player on Earth, with their tandem compared to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards or Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Minus the money. And the fame. And the ability to stay in the same room for longer than five minutes without wanting to kill each other. Still, the critics loved them. Their live shows were selling out. But Johnny had a problem with booze. And coke. And weed. And pills. And cough medicine. And oh yeah – he slept with Flash’s wife. Twenty-five years later Johnny is trying to get the band back together. Meanwhile, Flash has carried on and found some fame as a respected session player and occasional guitarist for Lady Gaga. This marks Corbett’s return to FX, where he toplined cult 2003 comedy series Lucky. The actor, who was also pursued for broadcast pilots, recently wrapped the feature The Boy Next Door opposite Jennifer Lopez. He is a touring country musician with two albums (check out a performance below). Repped by the Gersh and Lovett Management.
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EXCLUSIVE: LA-based production company Linsefilm is making its first venture into comedy with the purchase of original spec screenplay Pushing Daisy from Neal Gumpel and A.J. Benza. Set in 1999, the film follows the comedic adventures of a young woman named Daisy as she learns, with the help of a mysterious young woman, to break out of her limited circumstances and pursue her dreams. “I fell in love with these characters immediately. The story is sweet, sexy, funny, and ultimately empowering. There are two very strong roles for young women in this piece, and we’re going out at a time when there are many new and promising young actresses in the field,” said Linsefilm’s Brian Linse. The script will be going out to directors and cast next month.
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The pact calls for the Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm alum to develop and supervise projects for the pay cable network. Berg serves as executive producer/showrunner, along with Mike Judge, on Judge’s upcoming HBO comedy series Silicon Valley. Additionally, he has directed a couple of episodes of the series. Berg was previously an executive producer/writer/director on Larry David’s HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm for four seasons. He first worked with David on NBC’s Seinfeld, where Berg rose through the ranks from staff writer to executive producer. He shared in two best comedy series Emmy nominations for Seinfeld and three for Curb. Berg is repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
Patrick Sabongui (Godzilla) has been added to the cast of the CW pilot The Flash, based on the DC comic. It tells the story of scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who through a freak accident is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the Fastest Man Alive. Sabongui will play another character of the comic, Captain David Singh, a potentially recurring role.
Related: 2014 The CW Pilots
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Space Station 76 premieres Saturday at SXSW 2014, as part of the Visions section, in Austin. Today, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions announced they have acquired all international rights on the pic from writer/director Jack Plotnick. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer, Marisa Coughlan, Kylie Rogers, Kali Rocha, Jerry O’Connell and Keir Dullea and was written by Jack Plotnick, Jennifer Cox, Sam Pancake, Kali Rocha and Michael Stoyanov.
Space Station 76 is a comedic drama about a group of people (and several robots) living on a space station in a 1970’s-version of the future. When a new Assistant Captain arrives, she inadvertently ignites tensions among the crew, prompting them to confront their darkest secrets. Barely contained lust, jealousy, and anger all bubble to the surface, becoming just as dangerous as the asteroid that’s heading right for them. Read More »
Graphic design artist Milton Glaser, renowned for capturing the heart of 1950s and 1960s advertising, created the psychedelic key art image that will be featured in the promo campaign leading up to the seventh and final season of Emmy-winning Mad Men. Series creator Matthew Weiner grew up with a poster of Glaser’s work in his childhood home and had long dreamed of working with him. Mad Men premieres Sunday, April 13 at 10 PM on AMC.
Director Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s Jack Strong has taken the box office in Poland by storm since its release on February 7. The Polish, English and Russian-language film made about $1.5M in its debut and increased over the next two frames. It’s now passed the coveted 1M admissions mark, according to the Polish Film Institute, and has about $6M in takings. It’s the top film of the year and is expected to continue to have legs. The Cold War period thriller stars Marcin Dorocinski who was in last year’s top Polish grosser Drogówka (Traffic Department), American actor Patrick Wilson and Maja Ostaszewska. It’s based on the true story of Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, a high-ranking officer in the Polish army. Privy to the most classified operations of the Warsaw Pact, he become a CIA asset and from 1971 to 1981, Kukliński provided the West with over 40,000 pages of classified documents. Helmer Pasikowski (Aftermath) wrote the screenplay based on CIA documents, interviews with witnesses and never-before-seen materials from the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance. The Glos Wielkopolski newspaper called Jack Strong, “a very good thriller” somewhere in between “the intellectual complexity of Tomas Alfredson and the lightness of James Bond.” The film was produced by Scorpio Studio and co-produced by Vue Movie Distribution (formerly ITI Cinema), Orange Polska, and Tauron Polska Energia with co-financing from the Polish Film Institute. A limited run in the UK and Ireland … Read More »
Amazon.com today announced a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide North America that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming Season One and future seasons of the dramatic thriller Orphan Black. The series returns to BBC America on Saturday, April 19, at 9 PM EST. Prime Instant Video is the exclusive online-only subscription home for PBS series Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, FX drama The Americans, CBS summer series Under The Dome and later this summer, Extant, among other programs that include Veronica Mars, Justified, Falling Skies, Grimm, Workaholics, Suits, Covert Affairs, etc., as well as Amazon’s first original series Alpha House and Betas.
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