EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Animation has set Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions on Manimal, the feature based on the cult 1980s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. Miller, Ferrell, and McKay will produce along with original series co-creator Glen A. Larson, and Key & Peele EPs Jay Martel and Ian Roberts already have been tapped to write.
The original 1983 series starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a dashing and wealthy man raised in Africa who was also “master of the secrets that divide man from animal.” It was cancelled after eight episodes, only to live on in the hearts of a devoted cult fandom (flash back with a clip from Manimal below). Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/animation hybrid will reinvent that concept as an action-comedy with heavy visual effects and animated elements. SPA President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate and SVP Michael Lachance are overseeing for the studio. Read More »
TV critics seem to have reservations about NBC’s new comedy series Bad Judge. The single-camera comedy stars Kate Walsh as Rebecca Wright, a tough judge serving in the Los Angeles County courts, whose private life is pretty wild. In the comedy, co-created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and Anne Heche, Wright meets an eight-year-old boy whose parents she’d put in the hoosegow.
Walsh said she loved the idea of playing a character who, in the first four pages of the script, wakes up with a hangover, gets a pregnancy test and is revealed to be a judge. “It was super appealing,” she said, describing her initial reaction to the role as the sensation of having her nose pressed up to a candy-store window.
BREAKING:Marvel just announced that they have hired Peyton Reed to direct Ant-Man with Adam McKay to help script the superhero flick, ending the game of musical chairs on this film about who will helm the film. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are leading the cast of the film which will bow on July 17, 2015. Rudd is playing Ant-Man, of course, and Douglas will portray Dr. Hank Pym, Ant-Man’s mentor who helps protect the superhero’s secrets and develops the potion that turns humans into ant-sized. The film, based on the Marvel comic book from the 1960s, goes before the cameras this fall.
McKay was previously in talks to helm the Marvel property but dropped out last week; yesterday both Reed and David Wain were being talked up as the two possible helmers. That followed the surprising departure of Edgar Wright at the helm over creative differences. Interesting that Marvel head Kevin Feige is putting his bets on two filmmakers who lean heavily in comedy (and therein may lie the rub).
Reed has done much work in TV and also directed the comedies The Break-Up, Yes Man and Bring It On. He was previously considered to direct The Fantastic Four at Fox but that went to director … Read More »
Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph? By Mike Fleming Jr. Marvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him).
PREVIOUS, 8:04 AM ANALYSIS: Marvel and the reps of Adam McKay will spend the weekend trying to make a deal for the Talladega Nights helmer to replace Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man. McKay, the former Saturday Night Live writer who grew up on that show with Will Ferrell and moved with him to feature films, has become an accomplished director of comedies (Step Brothers is my favorite), but this seems to be a risky move (reports have him already deciding this is not for him). I was already skeptical of how serious to take the Ant-Man thing when Paul Rudd was cast as the title character, not because Rudd isn’t a good enough actor, but because he’s so identified as a comic actor. Setting McKay as director pushes the perception of this movie more towards, say, The Green Hornet than something like Captain America: Winter Soldier. I would have been less surprised had McKay been set to direct Ghostbusters, after Ivan Reitman bowed out, than a superhero film. One of the best things about these Marvel superhero movies under Kevin Feige is that they don’t take themselves too seriously in between giant action sequences. The blend of the occasional great comic line was particularly sharp in the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers film.
EXCLUSIVE: After cranking out two big hit comedies in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Sony Pictures is back in business with Will Ferrell,Adam McKay and John C. Reilly. The studio has closed a deal with Oscar-nominated In The Loop writer Jesse Armstrong to pen Border Guards. It’s a comedy that McKay is eyeing to direct, with Ferrell and Reilly playing two hapless but earnest friends who decide to give purpose to their lives by protecting America’s borders from illegal immigrants. In the process they find themselves accidentally stranded in Mexico without identification and must sneak back into the U.S. It’s only related to the previous films in that Ferrell and Reilly pair so well together.
Ferrell, McKay, and Kevin Messick are producing through Gary Sanchez Productions. Michael De Luca and Jonathan Kadin will oversee for Sony. The scribe, who’s repped by CAA, is a British comedy writer who with writing partner Sam Bain created the Channel 4 sitcoms Peep Show and Fresh Meat, and the Danny Boyle-directed series Babylon. Armstrong, who earned an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination for co-writing In The Loop, also scripted a biopic on Republican strategist Lee Atwater for Gary Sanchez with McKay attached to direct. Ferrell is repped by CAA and Mosaic and John C. Reilly by WME and Framework.
BREAKING:Paramount Pictures and 12 Years A Slave producer Plan B said that writer-director Adam McKay will take on Michael Lewis‘ bestselling book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, adapting and directing the book about the housing and credit bubble that was published in 2010. It marks the latest tie-up betweento Paramount for McKay, who co-wrote and directed two Anchorman movies for the studio, including last year’s sequel that has grossed more than $170M worldwide. McKay, repped by WME and Mosaic, co-runs Gary Sanchez Prods and Funny Or Die with Will Ferrell but the bet here is this will not be a comedy. “There are those rare literary treasures — as with The Big Short — that park in the harbor and you just wait, with hope,” Plan B said in announcing the hire. “Adam McKay is a singular voice and talent and a ferocious mind — the vector of Adam and this book is what a producer dreams of.” Plan B principal Brad Pitt starred in Sony’s Moneyball, another Lewis adaptation which earned six Oscar noms in 2012 including a Best Actor nom for Pitt.
“When Jessica came to us with this idea, we thought it was fantastic,” said McKay and Ferrell. “She has worked with some of the great female voices in comedy and has proven herself as a gifted producer who has a keen eye for material.
Elbaum has been with Gary Sanchez since its formation in 2006 and she has been a producer on such films as Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Casa De Mi Padre and Bachelorette, the latter of which fits the template for the kind of fare Gloria Sanchez wants to make. She also guided Ferrell’s 2008 stage show You’re Welcome America, to Broadway for its limited run and was exec producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and is in post on the Shira Piven-helmed comedy Welcome To Me, which stars Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, James Marsden, and Tim Robbins.
EXCLUSIVE: This is the dream of every public access show: New York’s cult weekly program The Chris Gethard Show will be making the leap from the local Manhattan Neighborhood Network to Comedy Central. The cable network has ordered a pilot for TCGS, a live, interactive call-in show with roots at the UCB Theater NY, which blends talk, variety and game elements. It will be produced by Funny Or Die, looking to repeat the success it’s had with another Comedy Central talk show, new late-night entry @midnight, which was just picked up for 40 weeks. Brillstein Entertainment Partners is co-producing, with Gethard and Zach Galifianakis exec producing alongside Funny Or Die’s Will Ferrell, Owen Burke, Adam McKay and Mike Farah as well as Brillstein’s Brian Stern. TCGS, whose episodes often are based on original bits, has featured such guests as Galifianakis, Sean Combs, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, John Mulaney, Bobby Moynihan and Andrew WK. The show also is known for championing the Brooklyn music scene and New York’s fringe artists and oddballs.
NBC today added three more single-camera comedy pilots to its roster, including projects produced by Greg Daniels and the duo of Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. The Office boss Daniels and his Deedle Dee Prods have had a very active development season with a half-dozen projects landing at NBC and Fox. The one that got the nod at NBC today is an untitled half-hour written by The Office‘s Robert Padnick. The other two pilot slots went to Assistance, from writer Leslye Headland and Ferrell and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods, and Donor Party, from writer Alex Schemmer and producer Geyer Kosinski.
This marks Gary Sanchez’s first pilot order under the company’s deal with Universal TV where Deedle Dee is also based. All three pilots hail from NBC’s sister studio, with Lionsgate TV co-producing Donor Party. This is Lionsgate’s second consecutive comedy pilot at NBC, following last year’s Next Caller, which went to series but was ultimately shelved. The trio of pilots join recently picked upAbout A Boy, also single-camera, and multi-camera comedy Joe, Joe & Jane. Here are details about the newly picked up pilots: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods. have sold a single-camera comedy to NBC to be written by rising young scribe Lauryn Kahn. Universal Television, where Gary Sanchez is under a deal, is producing. Titled I Guess I Do, the comedy centers around a sham green card marriage between a womanizing British celebrity trainer and a psychology grad student who is using her new husband as the subject for her dissertation on the modern male. Ferrell and McKay will executive produce the project, which has received a script commitment from the network.
I Guess I Do expands Kahn’s relationship with Gary Sanchez Prods. where she started out as McKay’s assistant. Noticing her comedic potential, he encouraged her to take improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. Kahn then began writing, directing and performing videos on Ferrell and McKay’s comedy Web site FunnyorDie.com. Last year, her debut feature script, comedy He’s F*cking Perfect, sparked a bidding frenzy, landing at Fox 2000 in a $1 million deal, with Gary Sanchez producing and Emma Stone circling the lead. Read More »
The Bridesmaids rip-offs were inevitable. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez productions just released the red band trailer for Bachelorette starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and James Marsden. Written by ex-Harvey Weinstein assistant Leslye Headland (FX’s Terriers), the low-budget indie generated some buzz at Sundance earlier this year and hits theaters September 7th:
EXCLUSIVE: The Other Guys gang is back together, this time on HBO. The pay cable network is developing a comedy project for Rob Riggle to star and produce. The single-camera comedy, based on an idea by Riggle, is being written by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. Set in the world of bond traders in 1980s Wall Street, it revolves around a successful, hard-living boss (Riggle) who lives a dark, self-centered, unhealthy life. McKay and Henchy are executive producing with their Gary Sanchez Prods partner Will Ferrell as well as Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Peter Principato and Paul Young. The project, which stems from Riggle’s development deal with HBO, reunites three of the stars of The Other Guys – Ferrell, Walhberg and Riggle — with the film’s writers McKay and Henchy. It was on that movie that McKay, Wahlberg, Ferrell and Riggle formed a working relationship and set out to find a project on which to collaborate.
Riggle originally developed the idea for the Wall Street comedy with Wahlberg’s Closest To The Hole Prods, Levinson’s Leverage and Principato-Young. Following Riggle and Wahlberg’s stint together on Other Guys, the Daily Show alum starred in Wahlberg and Levinson’s CBS’ comedy pilot Home Game and was attached to the producing duo’s HBO comedy project Lifestyle Lemonaid last year. Riggle, repped by CAA and Principato-Young, is currently seen … Read More »
Comedy director Adam McKay’s very serious documentary about the dropout epidemic in American schools gained a key ally today. Scott “Scooter” Braun, who manages such musical acts as Justin Bieber and The Wanted and produced Bieber’s 2011 concert movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, has signed on to produce the film along with McKay. The project has been in development since McKay hooked up with documentary filmmaker Jason Pollock last fall. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Adam McKay is in negotiations to develop to direct Uptown Saturday Night, the Warner Bros remake that the studio hopes will star Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment has been developing the project. Tim Dowling wrote the most recent draft.
The idea is for McKay to helm after he completes a sequel to Anchorman, the Will Ferrell-starrer Paramount has set for an early 2013 start and 2014 release. McKay and Ferrell wrote that script and Judd Apatow is producing. McKay most recently helmed The Other Guys, and before that Talladega Nights. He’s repped by WME.
The 1974 comedy starred Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier as pals who visit an illegal nightclub, and are forced to hand over their wallets to thieves. Turns out one of them contains a winning lottery ticket, emboldening the duo to bump up against the criminal element to get back the wallet. There are plenty of remakes that elicit groans. If this package comes together (Smith and Washington have long wanted to work together), with McKay’s comic sensibility, this redo could be exceptional. The original cast was lined with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor, and the remake could follow suit by star-casting the supporting roles.
EXCLUSIVE: Viral hit Drunk History may become a TV series. Comedy Central has given a pilot presentation order to Drunk History Across America, which will be produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy’s Gary Sanchez Prods. The trio will executive produce with Derek Waters, creator of the Drunk History series of shorts, Jeremy Konner, who directed them, and Owen Burke. Konner will also direct the pilot presentation. Like the web series, Drunk History Across America will feature historical reenactments presented by besotted narrators. The show will also include some travel elements and interviews with city locals who will drunkenly narrate local and personal history which, too, will be re-enacted by guest actors. Among those who have done re-enactments in the original Web series are Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Jack Black, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jason Ritter and Danny McBride. In addition to garnering millions of hits on YouTube and Funny or Die, a Drunk History short produced for Gary Sanchez’s HBO series Funny or Die Presents won The Jury Prize for Best American Short Film at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It stars Ferrell and Cheadle as Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass, respectively. (Video below) Waters is repped at UTA and Odenkirk-Provissiero, Konner is with WME and 3 Arts, Gary Sanchez with CAA, WME and Mosaic.
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: I’ve learned the sequel finally came together today. The comedy Anchorman 2 will be produced under mogul Judd Apatow’s banner with Will Ferrell’s and Adam MKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions. McKay will direct as well as write the script with Will Ferrell who will star again as Ron Burgundy along with the 2004 original’s castmembers Steve Carell and Paul Rudd and David Koechner. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy had been a DreamWorks production but Paramount took over the project after DreamWorks 2.0 departed the studio. In the first movie, Burgundy was the top-rated anchorman in San Diego in the 1970s in the PG13 pic. McKay and Ferrell are still “kicking around ideas” for the sequel, an insider tells me. “We didnt expect a week ago that this thing was going to get greenlit. It’s been alive and dead so many times.” Gee, I used to own the complete set of Anchorman booblehead dolls and finally gave them away because I didn’t think they’d ever be worth anything. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
UPDATE: OOPS! I think that ace Action4 anchorman Ron Burgundy himself scooped me (in between picking his teeth). Here’s a clip of him making the announcement on Conan O’Brien’s talk show to be aired later tonight:
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Stone is in negotiations to star in He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, a comedy spec script that Fox 2000 bought two weeks ago. The studio and Stone’s reps are going through the deal making gyrations, but signs are positive. A commitment by the hot young actress in town would be the latest development in a surreal month for the script’s 29-year old writer, Lauryn Kahn. After spending four years as Adam McKay’s assistant, she leaves the job tomorrow to write scripts full time. Exiting the $40,000 a year job seems less daunting after she landed $1 million against $1.5 million for He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, her very first feature screenplay.
The comedy focuses on a social media savvy girl who is pessimistic about love and vets her friends’ dates to find flaws. When that process leads her to uncover the perfect guy, she decides to use her internet research skills to turn herself into his perfect match. The film will be produced by Gary Sanchez’s McKay and Will Ferrell. The Gary Sanchez team helped her hone the script and gave her notes to help shape it.
The script wasn’t even supposed to be shopped. It was sent by Gary Sanchez directly to Stone, in hopes she would become attached. Then it leaked and got passed around the development community. Suddenly, Fox 2000 was among four studios making bids, and Gary Sanchez and Kahn’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has bought an untitled comedy project created by filmmaker Andrew Gurland (The Last Exorcism, The Virginity Hit) and Kevin Napier, who wrote the Ben Stiller-directed 2009 Fox pilot The Station. Universal TV and Will Ferrell and Adam Mckay’s studio-based Gary Sanchez Prods. are producing the untitled semi-autobiographical show, which is based on Gurland’s real life experience coming to terms with his ex-girlfrend marrying his childhood friend and the unique friendship the three of them developed. This is one of several projects Gary Sanchez Prods. has set up through the overall deal it signed with Universal TV this past summer. Gurland, repped by WME and Principato-Young, is now in pre-production on Gurland on Gurland, a first-person documentary comedy written, directed and starring him, which received a pilot order at Showtime.