EXCLUSIVE: Lizzy Caplan, Adam Scott, Shiloh Fernandez, Kelli Garner and David Giuntoli have followed Warren Zavala from CAA to become clients of WME. Zavala left CAA Sunday to join WME, and yesterday Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Paul Dano, Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki, Amber Heard and Mary Elizabeth Winstead followed him. There are a few more in play, but Zavala has managed to retain almost his entire client list.
Was the 2011 Toronto Film Festival a good one for dealmaking? Even after organizers announced a 20% uptick in film deals last Friday (the festival includes foreign territories in its count), the sales kept coming. A long-expected deal with Lionsgate on the Jennifer Westfeldt-directed comedy Friends With Kids finally got done (in partnership with Roadside Attractions, which will actually release the film), and Music Box announced overnight it had acquired the Rachel Weisz-starrer The Deep Blue Sea. Lionsgate was hotly pursuing another film, the Midnight Madness sensation You’re Next, which of all the festival films seems to have the best chance of approaching the box office turned in by Toronto 2010’s breakout Insidious. There have been about 20 acquisitions so far and that many more could come in the next few weeks.
Still, can you call the Toronto acquisitions marketplace “solid” when no films have been bought so far by The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, or Fox Searchlight (yeah, I revealed that they bought Shame during Toronto, but it was a deal all but sealed in Venice), or for that matter FilmDistrict, Open Road or Relativity Media, each of which jumped into the distribution business to release films that can play on upwards of 2000 screens? Buyers and sellers said it was a pretty good festival at least. One filled with mostly small deals and a show of distributor discipline that is a positive sign for an indie film sector that just started pulling out of a nosedive this time last year.
EXCLUSIVE: Adam Scott has been set to star in A.C.O.D., with Stuart Zicherman making his directorial debut on a script he wrote with Ben Karlin. The project is being financed and produced by Black Bear Pictures, which is currently in production with an untitled Ramin Bahrani-directed pic that stars Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid.
The title, A.C.O.D., is an acronym for Adult Children of Divorce, and Scott plays a thirty-ish man who was forced at an early age to be the adult of his family when his parents split bitterly. Fed up dealing with his parents’ long running feud, he must get his folks together once more time and keep from blowing a gasket after his younger brother unexpectedly decides to get married. Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman is producing with Karlin (who co-created The Colbert Report) and Tim Perell. The film will shoot in March, and Scott will work it into his schedule starring in the NBC sitcom Parks and Rec.
Two players from NBC’s Thursday comedy block, Parks & Recreation co-star Adam Scott and Community co-executive producer Hilary Winston, have teamed to produce My Son Gomez, a new single-camera comedy project for the network. Meanwhile, actor-turned-writer Ryan Raddatz (This Might Hurt) has sold Change of Plans, a multi-camera comedy to ABC with veteran Marsh McCall as showrunner.