EXCLUSIVE: Big shakeup at Silver Pictures, Joel Silver‘s producing label. I’m told that his two top creative executives — president Andrew Rona and EVP Alex Heineman – have just left the company. Both Rona and Heineman came there after Universal sold Rogue Pictures to Relativity and Rona, who ran that label, moved on. He took the Silver Pictures job after longtime head Susan Downey exited to partner in Team Downey with husband Robert Downey Jr. I’m told that Rona and Heineman intend to start their own production shingle. A spokesperson for Silver confirmed the moves, and said Silver wished them well as they set up their new venture.
Silver kept a prolific pace even as the producing great transitioned from a longtime Warner Bros producing deal to being backed by StudioCanal and distributing through Universal Pictures. During Rona and Heineman’s time at Silver, the label produce 12 movies including the upcoming Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop, Project X with Todd Phillips, and numerous others. Rona is producer and Heineman co-producer on the upcoming Pierre Morel-directed Gunman, which stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell is attached to star in and produce Conviction, a heist film that was bought as a spec script two years ago by Warner Bros and Silver Pictures. The script by Jonathan Herman, which made the Black List, follows a mastermind bank robber who serves five years in prison following a botched heist who is forced by an FBI agent to entrap his protege as the upstart pulls off a multimillion-dollar job. The original script had a Heat tone, but it stalled. It is being turned into an action comedy with a tone similar to 48 Hours and Ocean’s Eleven, with Carell at its center. Joel Silver, who has had success with this kind of thing with 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon, will produce the film with Carell and Silver Pictures head Andrew Rona. Silver Pictures’ Alex Heineman will be executive producer with Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock, who run Carell’s Warner Bros-based Carousel banner. They will set a writer to redraft the project. Carell’s repped by WME and Media Four.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros acquired rights to the Ross Macdonald mystery series about private detective Lew Archer. The studio will launch a franchise, starting with the 1959 novel The Galton Case, which was the eighth book in the series. Paul Newman played Archer in the 1966 Warner Bros film Harper and 1975 film The Drowning Pool.
Silver Pictures’ Joel Silver will produce and Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will be executive producers. Silver will partner with Random House Films on the movie, and RHF head Peter Gethers exec producing with series rights holder Stephen White. Archer is a private eye who cracked dangerous cases in Southern California in the 1950s and 60s. In The Galton Case, Archer is hired to track down the lost heir to the Galton fortune. His path leads him through a trail of murder, deception and a tangle of secrets. The studio will hire a writer soon to script what they see as an elevated noir franchise.