Aaron Sorkin’s New HBO Series Gets Title: ‘The Newsroom’

By | Wednesday December 21, 2011 @ 4:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Series Gets New Title?

The Newsroom. That is the official title of Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama series, once known as More As This Story Develops. The new title … Read More »

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Jane Fonda To Recur On Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Series

By | Wednesday December 14, 2011 @ 3:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In her first major TV series gig, Oscar winner Jane Fonda is joining Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama series in a recurring role. The series, set behind the scenes at a fictional cable news network, stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, … Read More »

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Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Series Gets New Title?

By | Monday December 5, 2011 @ 12:01pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Has Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama series, known as More As This Story Develops gotten an official title? That’s according to TV Newser, which says the show will be titled Newsroom. That indeed is the top choice for … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘The Artist’ Is NY Film Critics Circle Best Picture; Meryl Streep Best Actress For ‘Iron Lady’, Brad Pitt Best Actor

New York Film Critics Jump The Gun, Unveil New November Awards Voting Date

The NY Film Critics Circle has just bestowed its Best Picture award for 2011 to Michel Hazanavicius’ black-and-white silent film The Artist, putting the Weinstein Co drama … Read More »

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Obama Steps Up 2012 Hollywood Fundraising

GOP Candidates Seeking Hollywood Help

“We were discussing the new season of Glee,” tweeted Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson about what he and President Obama said to one another last night at the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues. It’s where the actor emceed one of two Hollywood fundraisers for Obama’s re-election campaign Monday. According to a White House pool report, Obama greeted Ferguson, turned to the microphone, and said, “I was telling him that Michelle and the girls love them some Modern Family.” Some in the crowd chanted “Four more years”. Roughly 900 people paid ticket prices starting at $250 and as much as $10,000 (to secure a photo with the president).

The second fundraiser cost $17,900 for each of the 120 people in attendance at Melrose Avenue’s Fig & Olive restaurant. The private event’s co-hosts included Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, his longtime political adviser Andy Spahn, and Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. “I’m going to need your help, so don’t get tired on me now,” Obama was quoted by a pool report as telling showbiz attendees like Judd Apatow, Aaron Sorkin, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, Eva Longoria, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, and Jon Landau (producer of Avatar and Titanic). “I urge some of you to watch the Republican debates,” Obama added.

Obama received a standing ovation from the industry types seated at round tables with white table linens. But news of the president’s impending Hollywood fundraising was punctuated by several media articles proclaiming that Tinseltown support for him had eroded greatly since 2008. Recently Democratic activists like Robert Redford, Matt Damon, and Michael Moore have criticized Obama’s inability to stay the liberal course. Katzenberg seemed to address that disappointment when he introduced Obama by saying, “We must keep fighting for him so he can keep fighting for us.” Katzenberg also noted, “I have a dependency on President Obama. He inherited a crashing economy and two wars and opponents who questioned if he was even born (in the U.S.). Yet he kept us moving forward. He was dealt adversity on all fronts, but he maintained his stature.” Read More »

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Toronto: Where Are The Film Deals?

Mike Fleming

Just as it did last year, the 2011 Toronto Film Festival has gotten off to a slow start on the acquisitions front. I spoke with many buyers after last night’s onslaught of acquisition title premieres, and the common feeling was these distributors need to fill slots in their schedules and they want to fall in love, but haven’t quite gotten there yet with most of these films. They had some reservations on just about all of the films they saw. These films will clearly find distribution homes, but the reaction means that deals will drag out because those distributors aren’t going to be posting large minimum guarantees, the way they did in Cannes.

Even the big sale of the festival so far, the Steve McQueen-directed NC-17 sex drama Shame, wasn’t a huge commitment for all the press hoopla that followed Deadline’s reveal that the film had sold to Fox Searchlight. I am hearing the deal was a mid-six figure minimum guarantee around $400,000, and a P&A commitment around $1.5 million. That sounds about right, because the filmmakers were most concerned with entering this year’s Oscar race to capitalize on the performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, and ensuring that not a frame of the picture was changed. But it doesn’t sound like a wide release picture.

As for the wide release titles, they are going to sell, but it will be a struggle for sellers to get the dollars they want. I saw one of those titles that sit atop buyer lists last night. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was scripted by Simon Beaufoy, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The film is sophisticated, funny, timely and utterly charming, and I would be surprised if it isn’t snapped up by Monday or sooner. That film got the best reaction from the buyers I spoke with. The pace of auctioning has been complicated by the volume of premieres last night, including Rampart, Take This Waltz, The Oranges, the hockey comedy Goon and the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Comic-Con: A Fan’s Hope. Buyers had to make choices, and some were seeing films like Salmon this morning. I expect a flurry of deals toward the end of the festival, which is how it played out last year.

Since there’s little going on so far, you have time to notice things. Here are a few things I’ve noticed: Read More »

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HBO Picks Up Aaron Sorkin Pilot To Series

By | Thursday September 8, 2011 @ 10:50am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s official: HBO has picked up Aaron Sorkin’s hourlong cable news network pilot to series. The now untitled drama (formerly More As This Story Develops), which has been a virtual lock for a series order, centers … Read More »

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Olivia Munn Joins ‘Magic Mike’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Steven Soderbergh’s hunkfest Magic Mike is finally getting something that has so far been missing: actresses. Olivia Munn is negotiating to play the role of Amber, the love interest to Channing Tatum, who plays Magic Mike. She’ll join Tatum, … Read More »

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Disney, Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Turn ‘Quantum Hoops’ Doc Into Comedy About Caltech Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Disney has acquired remake rights to Quantum Hoops, the 2007 documentary that followed the 2006 Caltech basketball team that had 21 seasons and 245 conference games without a single win, routinely getting walloped by 60 points or more. Ben … Read More »

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HBO Teams With John Krasinski & Aaron Sorkin For Chateau Marmont Miniseries

By | Thursday June 23, 2011 @ 12:37pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The Chateau Marmont, which for the past 80 years has served as the backdrop of major events in Hollywood history and the lives of its famous inhabitants, will now take front stage in a miniseries from The Office star John Krasinski and Aaron Sorkin. Oscar winner Sorkin will write the mini, now in early development, which will be based on the book Life At The Marmont by former Chateau Marmont co-owner Raymond R. Sarlot and Fred Basten. Krasinski, who has been the driving force behind the project, and Sorkin will executive produce with Chateau Marmont’s current owner Andre Balazs and his daughter Alessandra. Krasinski is also expected to play a role in the as-yet-untitled miniseries, which will tell the interconnected stories of the people who frequented the famed Hollywood landmark over several generations. Since the 1930s, the building, originally built as an apartment complex in the late 1920s and then converted into a hotel, has been the epicenter of Hollywood, attracting film and television actors, literary greats and rock stars. Its guest list through the years has included Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Erol Flynn, Stan Laurel, John Wayne, Vivien Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Sharon Tate, Hunter S. Thompson, Heath Ledger, Keanu Reeves and Lindsay Lohan. Greta Garbo attended parties there during her movie star days and later stayed at the hotel during her seclusion period, James Dean auditioned for Rebel Without a Cause there, Howard Hughes stayed in the attic and spied on women at the pool, F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack at the hotel, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis recorded and Lily Allen wrote a song there, and Sofia Coppola set and filmed Somewhere at the Chateau Marmont. And then there is the event the hotel is most closely associated with: John Belushi’s 1982 death of a drug overdose in one of the garden bungalows. Read More »

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Sam Waterston Joins Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot

By | Tuesday May 31, 2011 @ 2:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Law & Order veteran Sam Waterston has booked his first post-L&O series regular role: a supporting part in the Aaron Sorkin’s drama pilot for HBO tentatively titled More As This Story Develops. The project centers on cable news anchor … Read More »

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Olivia Munn & Alison Pill Close Their Deals For Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot

By | Wednesday May 18, 2011 @ 2:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Olivia Munn and Alison Pill have now completed their negotiations for supporting roles in Aaron Sorkin’s drama pilot for HBO tentatively titled More As This Story Develops. The project … Read More »

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A 14-Year ‘Gambit’ Finally Provides a Big Payoff For Producer Mike Lobell

Mike Fleming

Production begins today on Gambit, a caper comedy that stars Colin Firth as a London art curator who plans to con England’s richest man into buying a phony Monet painting. To do it, he enlists a Texas steer roper (Cameron … Read More »

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Emily Mortimer In Negotiations To Star In Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot

By | Monday May 2, 2011 @ 2:16pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Emily Mortimer is in negotiations for the female lead in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot. Tentatively titled More As This Story Develops, the project centers on cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels), who has his own show, as well … Read More »

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Olivia Munn & Alison Pill In Negotiations For Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot, Marisa Tomei Closes In On Female Lead

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 6:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The female portion of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot is taking shape. Olivia Munn and Alison Pill are in negotiations for supporting roles in the project, while I hear Marisa Tomei is inching closer to committing to play … Read More »

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Alan Poul Inks Overall Deal With HBO, Joins Aaron Sorkin’s Cable News Pilot As EP

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul is back at HBO with an overall deal. As part of it, the producer-director is set to executive produce Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot. Tentatively titled More As This Story Develops, the project centers … Read More »

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HBO CASTINGS: Jeff Daniels Closes For Sorkin Pilot, Five Join Returning Series

By | Friday April 1, 2011 @ 5:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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Greg Mottola To Direct Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot

By | Monday March 28, 2011 @ 5:29pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Greg Mottola is set to direct Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama pilot set behind the scenes at a cable news show. The project, which recent Oscar winner Sorkin is executive producing with Scott Rudin, centers on news anchor … Read More »

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Jeff Daniels In Negotiations For Aaron Sorkin’s HBO Pilot

By | Monday March 21, 2011 @ 12:04pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Jeff Daniels is in negotiations for the male lead in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama pilot set behind the scenes of a cable news show. The project, which recent Oscar winner Sorkin is executive producing with Scott Rudin, centers on news … Read More »

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