After serving just over two years, Joe Roth is stepping down from the board of Legendary Entertainment effective September 25, the company announced today. Roth’s departure comes out of a potential governance conflict that he and the company saw could arise from him holding a position on Legendary’s board of directors and as a producer on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming Brilliance and Hot Wheels pics. Roth joined Legendary’s board in June 2011. The Revolution Studios head’s replacement on the board later this month will be Tom Werner, co-founder of That 70s Show producers Carsey Werner and Chair of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club. Besides Tull and soon Werner, the other members of Legendary’s board are former Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook, venture capitalist Jim Breyer and Procter & Gamble CEO and Chairman AG Laffley.
Jason Shuman and his Blue Star Entertainment filed the original $50 million lawsuit in April 2012, alleging that Anger Management producer Joe Roth reneged on an agreement with the consultant for work he had done for Roth’s Revolution Studios on developing Anger Management into a TV series for FX. Roth later countersued, asking the court to declare that Shuman’s consultant agreement had been terminated. According to papers filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read here), Roth and Shuman reached a settlement. The terms were not released. A trial in LA Superior Court was scheduled for next April.
EXCLUSIVE: Boy, does Joe Roth have the hot hand when it comes to irreverent fairy tale fare. Deadline revealed last Thursday that the Oz The Great And Powerful producer had partnered with Jane Startz Production to acquire movie rights to The School For Good And Evil. After a spirited auction, Universal Pictures won the property in a seven-figure deal for book and scriptwriting fees. It’s the first title in a novel trilogy by Soman Chainani that will be published in the U.S. by HarperCollins on May 14 and in the U.K. on June 6. The trilogy tells the story of ordinary boys and girls who are kidnapped from their homes and sent to The School for Good and Evil, where they are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains, princesses and witches.
The protagonist is Sophie, a beauty who is dumped into the School for Evil while her homely best friend Agatha is taken to the School for Good. Both girls find their fortunes reversed and are forced to confront the truth about their unexpected destinies. The book debuted this weekend #7 on The New York Times Bestseller list.
BREAKING: Signaling that Universal Pictures sees the project as a priority, the studio has set Joe Roth to produce the film adaptation of Daughter Of Smoke & Bone, the young-adult fantasy novel by National Book Award Finalist Laini Taylor. Roth Film President Palak Patel will executive produce.
The protagonist is a 17-year-old art student who is sent by her awful father on travels across the globe to collect teeth for an unspecified but creepy purpose. This leads her to an encounter with an angel and revelations about her family that lead her into adventures involving otherworldly beings. The book was acquired for high-six figures late last year in a pitched battle between Universal and Paramount.
Roth produced for Universal Snow White And The Huntsman and is working on the sequel, with Evan Daugherty just having turned in a script.
Anger Management producer Joe Roth’s countersuit today in the $50 million lawsuit over the upcoming FX series has “no merit,” says Bryan Freedman, lawyer for plaintiff Jason Shuman. Roth’s action today (read the suit here) was a response to the multimillion-dollar complaint Shuman and his Blue Star Entertainment filed April 18, which alleges that Roth reneged on an agreement with the consultant for work he had done for Roth’s Revolution Studios on developing Anger Management into a TV series. Roth wants the court to declare that Shuman’s consultant agreement with Revolution, which was entered into on August 12, 2008, was terminated on January 24, 2012. “The termination letter itself is completely disingenuous,” said Freedman, who also represents Deadline and its parent company PMC. “It seeks to end my clients’ involvement in the television series Anger Management as developed by Jared Bush with Cedric the Entertainer. There is no such agreement. The 2010 Anger Management Producer Agreement entered into between Revolution and my clients clearly states it is for the development of Anger Management ‘based on the previously released motion picture of the same title.’ ” Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, is set to debut on FX on June 28. Roth produced the 2003 Anger Management movie starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. “What is extremely telling is that the termination letter completely ignores the existence of the 2010 Anger Management Producer Agreement,” added Freedman. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are intentionally ignored.”
After Brett Ratner’s spectacular self-inflicted demise as Oscarcast producer, the Academy gets down to business finding a replacement to join Don Mischer in picking up the …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that The Drew Carey Show creator Bruce Helford has entered negotiations to write, executive produce and run Charlie Sheen’s new comedy series Anger Management. Helford was one of several veteran comedy showrunners that met with Lionsgate TV and producer Joe Roth on the project and emerged as a leading candidate for the job about two weeks ago. Helford has been considered a strong choice to create a starring vehicle for Sheen, having done the same in the past for Drew Carey with ABC’s The Drew Carey Show and George Lopez with the comedian’s eponymous ABC sitcom. He will develop Anger Management based on the 2003 Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler movie, with Sheen set to play an updated version of Nicholson’s character, a volatile anger management therapist. Once there is a showrunner on board, Lionsgate is expected to take out the project to networks and station groups in search of a buyer.
This is an announcement of the completion of the deal for the project, based on the 2003 Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler movie Anger Management, which is in early stages and still has no network or writer attached. On the show, Sheen will play an updated version of the Nicholson’s character in the Joe Roth-produced movie, a volatile anger management therapist. “I chose Anger Management because, while it might be a big stretch for me to play a guy with serious anger management issues, I think it is a great concept,” Sheen quipped. While Lionsgate TV will produce, a key point is the involvement of the company’s subsidiary Debmar-Mercury as a distributor, meaning that the Anger Management sitcom will probably be done under the model created by Debmar-Mercury co-heads Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein and pioneered on the Tyler Perry TBS sitcoms House of Payne and Meet the Browns. The Anger Management series is being co-produced by Roth who previously teamed with Debmar-Mercury on another TBS sitcom under the company’s model that was based on a movie, Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet? The model, which so far has only been applied on cable, primarily on TBS, involves a significant ownership stake for the talent, something the release below indicates Sheen is receiving on Anger Management, as well as a short, usually 10-episode, initial network order followed by a massive 90-episode pickup when ratings thresholds are met. (That allows Debmar-Mercury to also launch the series in broadcast syndication.) The question is which network will gamble on a show starring a volatile star like Sheen, who is still embroiled in a $100-million lawsuit with Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre over his firing from Two and a Half Men, and which writer will sign on to develop the series with him. TBS would still be a main target though the cable network would’ve had stronger motivation to gamble on the new series if it still had the the off-network rights to Two and a Half Men, which it surrendered to FX this past fall. But TBS, which is a corporate sibling of Warner Bros. TV, has indicated that it isn’t interested. Here is the release:
Los Angeles, July 18, 2011 — Former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen is planning his return to series television in Anger Management, a new sitcom loosely based on Revolution Studios’ 2003 hit comedy feature of the same name. Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury, headed by Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, will distribute the series that will be produced by Lionsgate Television, led by Television Group President Kevin Beggs and COO Sandra Stern; Joe Roth and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino; Sheen manager Mark Burg’s production company, Evolution Management; and Robert Maron.
Sheen will retain a significant ownership stake in the series inspired by the film, in which a mild-mannered, non-confrontational man is ordered to attend group anger management sessions led by a therapist who could probably use some anger management himself.
EXCLUSIVE: NALA Films has set Paul Blart: Mall Cop helmer Steve Carr to direct and Rob Riggle and Thomas Lennon to star in The Boondoggle, the comedy that the producer/financier bought in January as a spec. Riggle and Lennon …