Warner Bros. just issued a brief notice that it had moved up the debut by two days for Hillsong – Let Hope Rise from April 3, 2015 to April 1, the preceding Wednesday, ahead of the Easter holiday weekend. We presume this is no April Fool’s Joke. Hillsong United is an extremely successful Christian music band based in Australia, and the concert tour film is a co-production between Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment. It is being produced by Matthew Weaver and Jonathan Bock.
Alcon Entertainment has acquired the feature documentary Hillsong – Let Hope Rise, which Warner Bros will release in April. The film revolves around the popular faith-based Australian band Hillsong United, which began as an 11-member youth band and has now sells out and concerts worldwide and has sold more than 16M albums. The documentary, which will include concert footage, is being directed by Michael John Warren, who helmed the 2004 feature docu Fade To Black about rapper-producer Jay-Z. Matt Weaver of MediaWeaver Entertainment and Jonathan Bock of Grace Hill Media are producing. B. Wayne Hughes Jr. and Greg Campbell of Cantinas Entertainment, which is financing the feature, are executive producing.
Teresa Palmer is negotiating to star alongside Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey in Alcon‘s reboot of the 1991 action thriller Point Break. Palmer is best known for Lionsgate’s zombie comedy Warm Bodies but will next be seen in director Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman. She is currently on set for John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine (Open Road Films) with Kate Winslet, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Aaron Paul, Gal Gadot and Michael Pena. Palmer is repped by WME, Management 360, and Sloane, Offer, Webber & Dern.
The film is about a young FBI agent (Bracey) who goes undercover to stop an organized gang of criminals who have been pulling off heists all over the world. The original film starred Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves.
The new Point Break is being directed by Invincible helmer Ericson Core from a script by Kurt Wimmer. Alcon principles Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will produce with John Baldecchi, Chris Taylor and Wimmer. RGM Media principal Devesh Chetty and investor John McMurrick, Chairman of Marloss Entertainment, will exec produce. The film gets underway on June 26. It will shoot in Germany, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, French Polynesia, and India so it’s clear that the filmmakers are thinking about their international audience. Edge Of Tomorrow, the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller, did the same thing with storylines around Europe.
Alcon Entertainment has an offer out to Harrison Ford to reprise his role of Rick Deckard in its Ridley Scott-directed sequel to Blade Runner. Original screenwriter Hampton Fancher and Michael Green are writing the new one, which takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Alcon acquired Blade Runner‘s film, television and ancillary rights in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels of the sci-fi cult classic. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Alcon actually sent a press release out that it offered the role to Ford (which is unusual in itself), but Ford gave an interview recently saying he was anxious to see the script. He has expressed interest in reprising the role in the past, but no deal is set as he has yet to read the script.
If Ford agrees to the script, this is the second audience-pleasing role the actor would be stepping into. He is also set in the next installment of the Star Wars franchise as the actor is currently readying to reprise his role as …
Ray Winstone will be getting his inner Gary Busey on as he is pay or play in the role of Pappas in the Point Break remake that Alcon Entertainment is prepping for a June production start with Ericson Core directing. Luke Bracey is playing the undercover cop Johnny Utah role originated by Keanu Reeves, and they are looking hard to replace Gerard Butler in the Zen villain role of Bodhi, originated by the late Patrick Swayze in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed 1991 film that remains a guilty pleasure. Resolution-repped Winstone is coming off Noah, and will next be seen co-starring in the Pierre Morel-directed The Gunman with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba. Open Road is closing a deal for domestic distributor on that Studiocanal-backed film.
Movies open every weekend. Some soar, some fail. Every once in a while a flop comes along that is so unexpected and devastating that everyone in town is left saying, “How the hell did that happen?” Recent examples include John Carter, The Lone Ranger and maybe even Pompeii or The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, even if the latter two sank without making much of a ripple. The $100 million Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-Morgan Freeman starrer that marked the directing debut of Chris Nolan’s vaunted cinematographer Wally Pfister, is one of those what-the-hell-happened films. Consider it grossed just $10.8 million domestic for its opening weekend, about half of Heaven Is For Real, a starless movie whose $12 million budget was likely less than Depp’s Transcendence salary. Heaven If For Real has grossed $30 million so far domestically and looks like a breakout sleeper hit.
So what the hell happened? There is blame to go around, including at Alcon Entertainment, which with its offshore partners fully financed the Warner Bros-distributed flop. Talking to numerous parties, I believe this was a movie that probably never should have been made because the script was complex, derivative, and hard to market, and it was not easy to discern who the audience should have been. It also is a case where yet again it was a mistake to give a first-time director the keys to a movie with complex subject matter that required meshing with the high maintenance of a big movie star and a giant budget. Transcendence seems similar in some ways to John Carter, where first-time live-action director Andrew Stanton had the endorsement of Pixar’s John Lasseter that led Disney execs to give him a lot of rope, and he proved out of his depth despite having directed so many animated hits. Here, Pfister got the job after standing aside Nolan as cinematographer, and proving himself a gifted visual artist on such films as The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception. Nolan, who made the film Insomnia at Alcon, endorsed his protege there and encouraged him to start on the kind of big canvas on which Nolan creates his masterpieces. But just because Pfister stands next to Nolan doesn’t mean he is Nolan, or has his ability for making the most complex storytelling palatable for the masses, like he did on Inception. The shoot was rough. Pfister and Alcon certainly put in the work here, and got the test scores to an acceptable level, but critics just hated the movie. Audiences felt the same, with the film getting a 19% rating on RottenTomatoes. And Johnny Depp, mostly seen as a computer image on a computer screen, didn’t open it the way that highly paid movie stars are supposed to.
LOS ANGELES, CA., APRIL 15, 2014—Alcon Entertainment and Sleeping Giant Media, LLC have formed ASG Music Group, a joint venture designed to integrate the combined companies’ music enterprises into a new music model for the modern business of film, television and commercial media production, it was announced by Alcon co-CEO’s and co-founders Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, and Sleeping Giant’s co-founders Ken Caillat, Michael Hodges and Kayla Morrison.
Call this Episode 2: A New Hope. Warner Bros had to be taken aback a bit by the feel-good box office for its feel-good family pic Dolphin Tale, which hit No. 1 in its second weekend back in 2011 and finished with $95 million-plus worldwide. Alcon Entertainment dips its toe in the waters again for Dolphin Tale 2, which follows the inspired-by-a-true-story of Hope, a young dolphin who is saved with the help of the good people from the first movie — namely Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman and Austin Stowell. Bethany Hamilton, the young shark-bite survivor who inspired the feel-good (there’s that phrase again) movie Soul Surfer, also has a role. The pic from returning director Charles Martin Smith, who also wrote this installment, comes up for air September 19. Here’s the trailer:
Ann Brashares’ Latest YA Novel ‘The Here And Now’ Acquired By ‘Traveling Pants’ Producers Alcon & Alloy
Alcon Entertainment, Alloy Entertainment and Kira Davis’ 8:38 Productions have reteamed to acquire Ann Brashares‘ latest young adult novel, The Here And Now, which was released this week by Delacorte Press. The three companies previously joined to collaborate on Brashares’ bestselling Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants novels, turning them into a 2005 feature film starring Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrara and Amber Tamblyn and a 2008 sequel. Both were released by Warner Bros under Alcon’s output deal there.
Davis will produce the Here And Now adaptation with Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Alloy president Les Morgenstein and VP of Alloy features Elysa Dutton will also produce. The novel is an epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world…if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Fox has landed Everest, a 10-part event series from Alcon Entertainment. There is a multiple script order for the project, which is in the process of setting up a writers room. Created by Jeffrey Lieber (Necessary Roughness) and produced by Alcon and FX Prods, Everest — which is being pitched as renewable limited series that can have follow-up cycles — is described as a suspenseful, action-packed drama that revolves around a group of hikers on an expedition to conquer Mount Everest. Secrets are revealed and the truth about their motives are uncovered as the group struggles to survive on the world’s highest peak. Everest marks one of the first major TV sales for the TV division of Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment, which was launched last year when former Sony Pictures TV head of drama Sharon Hall was tapped to run it. The company has spent the last year actively acquiring properties and developing and packaging projects with a focus on going straight to series. The pitch for Everest too was the result of a four- to five-month development process. Lieber was brought to Alcon by Hall, who worked with the Necessary Roughness exec producer/showrunner while she was at Sony.
Denis Villeneuve‘s Prisoners broke out big-time on the Oscar-season radar over the weekend in Telluride, where his hostage drama starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal landed a sneak peak slot in the lineup. The Friday screening connected an upper-cut blow to the fest’s audience who reacted with strong applause and critical praise. Now the pic’s financier and producer Alcon Entertainment has locked up Villeneuve with a two-year overall deal for his writing and directing services just ahead of Prisoners‘ official premiere at Toronto on Friday. The agreement calls for a blind script commitment providing the French-Canadian director the time to both write and direct a feature project, with several ideas currently being pondered. Said Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove: “Our experience with Denis has been one of the most creative and satisfying of our careers. He’s truly one of the most insightful, artistic filmmakers working today. We believe he’s directed a tremendous film with Prisoners and are excited to partner with him on more projects going forward.” Dave Fierson, Head of Business Affairs and General Counsel, negotiated the deal on behalf of Alcon.
Villeneuve’s credits include the Oscar-nominated French-language pic Incendies, and he also directed the indie feature Enemy, also starring Gyllenhaal, which too will debut at Toronto. Warner Bros releases Prisoners — …
Alcon Entertainment, which has done well turning books like The Blind Side into films, has acquired film and television rights to Chicken Soup For The Soul. Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove made the deal with Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. They’ll finance and produce a feature film based on the branded book series that has sold over 100 million copies in the US and Canada alone. The film will be produced by The Kerner Entertainment Company’s Jordan Kerner, who most recently produced The Smurfs pic, with Johnson and Kosove also producing. Brandon Camp (Love Happens) will write the screenplay, which is inspired by a variety of characters and stories from the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. Warner Bros will release via Alcon’s output deal.
In a statement Kosove and Johnson described the branded title as “synonymous with inspiration and life improvement and has touched hundreds of millions of readers through the power of storytelling. The ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series lends itself perfectly to a fictional narrative that will inspire, entertain and intrigue.”
The film will be Executive Produced by Ben Haber, Bill Rouhana and Tim Rouhana with Kate Moulene set as co-producer.
Alcon Entertainment has solidified plans for a sequel to their 2011 hit A Dolphin Tale. Stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson will return along with helmer Charles Martin Smith, who directed the first based-on-a-true-story pic. Real life rescued dolphin Hope will play herself in the film:
LOS ANGELES, CA, July 26, 2013 – Alcon Entertainment has green lit Dolphin Tale 2, a follow up to its successful 2011 Warner Bros release, it was announced by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. The entire cast of Dolphin Tale will reunite for the sequel, including Harry Connick Jr., Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Academy Award nominee Kris Kristofferson, Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, among others. Charles Martin Smith (“Dolphin Tale,” “Air Bud”) has written the screenplay and will again direct.
The fact-based adaptation Dolphin Tale was originally brought to Alcon by the Company’s President Of Worldwide Marketing, Richard Ingber, who also produced, and will serve as a producer on the sequel. Dolphin Tale 2 tells another true story inspired by the life of the rescued bottle nose dolphin, Winter, this time involving a new baby dolphin named Hope who was also saved and rehabilitated by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010.
DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based company that teamed with Disney/Marvel on Iron Man 3, is partnering with Alcon Entertainment to finance, produce, and distribute a series of films beginning with Johnny Depp-starrer Transcendence. The sci-fi pic that marks Wally Pfister’s directorial debut began shooting last month and has set an April 2014 release. Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara also star. DMG and Alcon will also pair on the Ericson Core-helmed remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 surfing/crime thriller Point Break. Shooting starts at the end of 2013 with the action transferred to the world of international extreme sports. Under the partnership, DMG will distribute both pictures in China. Warner Bros. has North America.
The Transcendence team has done a solid job keeping a tight lid on the plot of Jack Paglen’s script, but DMG provided some details today in Beijing. The story is set in the world of artificial intelligence science and, according to CEO Dan Mintz, “is about that moment when human consciousness and the insanely fast rise of computing power collide.”
Mintz also said, “We are very excited that these will be the first two films of what will be a long-lasting and very successful partnership with Alcon. We look forward to making history with our new partner.”
Alcon Entertainment‘s Dolphin Tale grossed $95.4M worldwide when it was released in September 2011, and now the producer-financier is close to diving in for a sequel. Charles Martin Smith, who directed the first pic, is set to helm Dolphin Tale 2 from his own script, and the original cast that included Harry Connick Jr, Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and Kris Kristofferson are in negotiations to return. Warner Bros, which has an output deal with Alcon, today set a September 19, 2014 release for the movie. The original film centered on the true-story friendship between a boy and a dolphin (Winter played himself) whose tail was lost in a crab trap. The plot for the second movie will also revolve a true story inspired by Winter, but also involves a baby dolphin named Hope who was rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010. Smith is repped by APA.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 31, 2013, 3:30 pm, EST—Writer Michael Green is in negotiations to do a rewrite of Alcon Entertainment’s “Blade Runner” sequel penned by Hampton Fancher (“Blade Runner,” “The Minus Man,” “The Mighty Quinn”) and to be directed by Ridley Scott. Fancher’s original story/screenplay is set some years after the first film concluded.
Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Green recently completed rewrites on “Robopocalypse” and Warners Bros “Gods and Kings.”
Alcon and Yorkin previously announced that they are partnering to produce “Blade Runner” theatrical sequels and prequels, in addition to all television and interactive productions.
EXCLUSIVE: Ericson Core, the cinematographer who made his feature directorial debut on Invincible, has been set by Alcon Entertainment partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove to direct Point Break, the remake of the 1991 action thriller that starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Shooting begins at year’s end and Alcon will release through its Warner Bros output deal.
Any way you cut it, the director of this film is stepping into big shoes. The original was helmed by Kathryn Bigelow, who later won the Oscar with The Hurt Locker and who most recently helmed Zero Dark Thirty. Kosove and Johnson will produce the remake with Michael De Luca, John Baldecchi, Chris Taylor and Kurt Wimmer. The script was written by Wimmer, whose script work includes Salt and Law Abiding Citizen. RGM Media principal Devesh Chetty and investor John McMurrick, Chairman of Marloss Entertainment, will be exec producers.
They’re setting the remake in the world of international extreme sports, and an undercover FBI agent infiltrates a criminal ring. If done right, this one could work again. The original story was pretty far-fetched (I recall Reeves jumping out of a plane without a parachute to chase down Swazye, who had a parachute), but for me it is one of those movies where, if I am clicking channels and come across it, I’ll stop and watch at any point of the movie.
Core, who’s repped by Gersh Agency’s David …
BREAKING: The directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime DP Wally Pfister continues to get more interesting. He’s added Kate Mara to the cast of Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall in Transcendence. The pic is being financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment‘s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Scripted by Jack Paglen, the screenplay was developed by Annie Marter and Straight Up Films, whose company principals include Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen and Regency Boies. Polvino, Marter and Cohen will produce along with David Valdes, Johnson and Kosove. Boies will co-produce. Nolan, Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder are serving as executive producers.
Mara is currently starring with Kevin Spacey in House Of Cards, the Netflix series whose second season will shoot in the spring. She is repped by UTA and attorney Neil Meyer.
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Bettany is in negotiations to star opposite Johnny Depp in Transcendence, the Alcon Entertainment film that marks the directing debut of Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer on Inception and many other films. Alcon partners Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson are producing, and Nolan and Emma Thomas are exec producers. The film was scripted by Jack Paglen and the plot is being kept under wraps. The film will start production in the spring, and Bettany will play a scientist. Warner Bros is distributing. Next up for Bettany is Iron Man 3 (he provides the voice of Tony Stark’s computer Jarvis), and he stars in the thriller Blood with Mark Strong. He was last seen in The Avengers and Margin Call. Bettany is repped by UTA, Affirmative Entertainment, and Independent Talent Group. His UK manager is 42 M&P’s Kate Buckley-Sharma.