EXCLUSIVE: In recent years Universal Pictures has become defined by its The Fast And The Furious, Despicable Me, Bourne and Jurassic Park franchises. But the studio’s most enduring legacy is its library of classic movie monsters that include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Universal is now dedicating renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment to revitalize its monster heritage.
The studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise. It’s not set in stone yet if either will write, but they will soon be going around town enlisting talent to bring new cinematic life to these enduring characters from lore, literature and Universal’s own library. While Universal has selectively tapped its Movie Monster library for The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold, this will be the first time that the studio has formalized an approach to these classic characters in a cohesive, connected way rather than as a series of stand-alone projects by disparate filmmaking teams. Read More »
The Unit alum Robert Patrick is back at CBS with a co-starring role in another drama project, pilot Scorpion, from writer Nick Santora, director Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age. Patrick, repped by Gersh, McKuen Frankel Whitehead and the Coronel group, will play Cabe Gallo, a no non-sense, blue collar Federal Agent who works with the group. He is currently on El Rey’s From Dusk til Dawn and has Kill the Messenger coming out.
CBS has given a pilot order to Scorpion, a drama from Nick Santora, Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The project, which had a put pilot commitment, was written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and will be directed by Fast & Furious’ Lin, with CBS TV Studios producing. It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age. Read More »
Michael Lynton said last month that they intended to create “a bigger universe around Spider-Man” and today Sony Pictureshad a new webslinging big bang. Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, announced it will make movies on Spidey villains Venom and The Sinister Six. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. This was announced via the tucked away ElectroArrives.com, Spider-Man 2related website. Spider-Man reboot 1 & 2 director Marc Webb will join the five scribes and two producers in what Sony is terming “a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.”
For a studio that’s trimming back film output it is a pretty big expansion but then again the 4-movie Spidey franchise has made $3.2 billion worldwide so far for Sony/Columbia since it started in 2002 – and that’s without the expected blockbuster of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that starts its international rollout on April 16, 2014 and debuts Stateside on May 2, 2014. Besides Spider-Man 3, which is expected to come out on June 10, 2016, there is a Kurtzman-directed Venom and a … Read More »
After successfully rebooting Whose Line Is It Anyway last summer, the CW is looking to bring back another half-hour series this coming summer. The network has teamed with producers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and writer Joe Hill for Tales From The Darkside, a reinvention of the 1980s horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series by George A. Romero. Hill will write the project, which will keep the original series’ 30-minute format, for a summer run consideration. Hill, Kurtzman and Orci will executive produce with Heather Kadin, Mitch Galin and Jerry Golod for CBS TV Studios, where Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products is based. The project reunites Kurtzman and Orci with Hill, son of horror master Stephen King. The three previously worked together on Locke & Key, a drama adaptation of Hill’s graphic novel, which went to pilot at Fox. Tales From The Darkside, which is in the vein of other genre anthology series like Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Tales From The Crypt, had a four-year syndicated run and is owned by CBS TV Studios sibling CBS TV Distribution. (You can watch the intro below.) CAA-repped Kurtzman and Orci, executive producers of Fox’s breakout drama Sleepy Hollow, have two other broadcast projects in development through their CBS TV Studios deal — a … Read More »
Three years after the end of Numbers, CBS is high on another drama procedural with a genius at the center. The network has given a put pilot commitment to an untitled drama from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, writer Nick Santora and director Justin Lin. It is one of two sales for Kurtzman and Orci’s CBS TV Studios-based K/O Paper Products, along with an untitled sibling terrorist drama at the CW, done with Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya ‘s Scripted World.
Written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and to be directed by Fast & The Furious’ Lin, the CBS project is inspired by the true story of Walter O’Brien’s life and how he, a man with the fourth highest documented IQ, became a real-life professor X. He recruited the world’s greatest intellects to his company where they not only solved the world’s most pressing and significant problems, but also helped each other learn to fit in and live in a world where literally being “one in a billion” can be as lonely as it sounds. Executive producing are Santora, Lin, O’Brien, K/O’s Kurtzman, Orci and Heather Kadin and SB Films’ Scooter Braun, with SB’s Danny Rose and Danielle Woodrow of Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment co-exec producing and and SB’s Scott Manson and Perfect Storm’s Troy Poon producing. Santora, who is under … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The auspices behind CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot are reteaming for a new drama series. The eye network has put in development Salvation, a high-concept drama executive produced by Hawaii Five-0 developers/exec producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov and produced by CBS TV Studios. Written by up-and-coming feature writer Matt Wheeler, the project is set in the months leading up to a global, catastrophic event and follows a group of characters’ attempts to deal with the impending destruction of the planet and ensure the survival of humanity. Kurtzman, Orci, Lenkov and Heather Kadin are executive producing, with Wheeler co-exec producing.
This marks the first sale for Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products under a deal with CBS TV Studios the company inked in July. Under their previous pact at 20th TV, K/O are producing Fox’s upcoming fall drama series Sleepy Hollow. Lenkov, who has been running Hawaii Five-0 since its 2010 launch, also is under an overall deal at CBS Studios. Wheeler, repped by Management 360 and Verve, penned the script Snatchback for Voltage with Atlas producing and Ross Katz attached to direct. He recently wrote Butcher’s Boy for Sony with Matt Tolmach producing, and is writing the action thriller Splinter for Wayfare Entertainment. CAA reps Kurtzman and Orci, also repped by Michael Gendler, as well as Lenkov.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who co-penned both installments of Paramount’s current Star Trek franchise, are returning for the next one. The first sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, has grossed $450M worldwide since its May 16 release.
Fox’s new drama series Sleepy Hollow bears as much resemblance to the Washington Irving story to which it has glommed on, as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters did to the German folk fairy tale about the two cute tots who nearly got baked. Which is to say, barely. The Irving short story, set in 1790, was about a superstitious schoolmaster in Connecticut who is competing with the Tarrytown troublemaker for the daughter of a local rich guy, but who gets frightened out of town when his rival lobs a Jack-o-Lantern at hime, while masquerading as as the legendary Hessian trooper who’d had his head blown off by a cannonball in the neighborhood during the Revolutionary War and who returns nightly to look for his head.
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci has reinvisioned Ichabod as a superhero who is resurrected two and a half centuries later, finds the world on the brink of destruction and the Headless Horseman now one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation. Rather than crawling into his bed and pulling the covers over his head, like you’d think, the guy who used to fear Jack-o-Lanterns instead rises to the occasion, teams with a contemporary cop, and unravels a mystery that dates back to the Founding Fathers, which is before even his time. Read More »
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s production company K/O Paper Products have inked a three-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. The agreement to develop TV projects for the studio ends K/O’s partnership with its previous home base 20th Century Fox TV, where it has resided since 2010 in a pod deal. Among the current projects for Kurtzman and Orci is 20th TV’s Sleepy Hollow, which they wrote and Fox acquired — it will premiere in the fall with Len Wiseman directing the pilot and executive producing. (K/O’s first major projects, Locke & Key and Exit Strategy, also went to Fox and got to the pilot stage.) Kurtzman and Orci previously co-penned Fox’s Fringe with JJ Abrams, a series that ended its five-year run last season. The pair also co-wrote and developed CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which started their relationship with CBS. Also on the pair’s TV slate is The Hub’s animated series Transformers: Prime. That stems from the duo’s work on the Transformers film franchise; their other extensive film credits include the two Star Trek movies, Eagle Eye, Cowboys & Aliens and Mission: Impossible III, and they executive produced the romantic comedy The Proposal. They also co-wrote and produced People Like Us for Disney, marking Kurtzman’s feature directorial debut. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired Sagittarius A, an original sci-fi thriller pitch that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci developed with Steven Karczynski. The script will be written by Karczynski, whose Black List screenplay The Umbra is set at Endgame Entertainment with Martin Campbell attached to direct. The scribe also adapted the Capcom video game Dark Void for Reliance and Plan B Entertainment. Kurtzman and Orci will produce for their Universal-based K/O Paper Products, with K/O president Bobby Cohen also producing. K/O executive Kim Cavyan brought in the project. Karczynski is repped by Gersh and Digital Conspiracy and Kurtzman and Orci are repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is setting Len Wiseman to direct The Mummy, the reboot of a franchise whose most recent incarnation grossed $1.25 billion over three films. Jon Spaihts is writing the script and the studio is eyeing a potential summer 2014 release, so things are moving quickly, with Universal eager to ramp back up one of its most venerable franchises.
The film is being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci through their Universal-based K/O Paper Products, alongside former partners Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks. Latter two produced the version launched by Steve Sommers which starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. That trilogy was based on the Karl Fruend-directed Boris Karloff starrer that the studio made in 1932.
I spoke to both Kurtzman and Wiseman, and they said the script Spaihts is writing puts the gauze-covered villain into a modern-day context. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Unusuals and My Generation creator Noah Hawley is back at ABC with a new hourlong project, this time joined by producers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The network has handed out a script commitment with penalty to a high-script drama revolving around a mysterious game, which Hawley will write. Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products is producing with 20th Century Fox TV where the company is based. Hawley, Kurtzman, Orci and Heather Kadin executive produce. CAA-repped Hawley was a writer on Fox’s dramedy Bones before going on to create two series for ABC, The Unusuals and My Generation, which was based on a Swedish format. This marks the second sale for K/O this season. The company’s first pitch, Sleepy Hollow, to be written by Kurtzman, Orci and Phillip Iscove and to be directed by Len Wiseman, sold to Fox with a put pilot commitment.
EXCLUSIVE: After garnering interest from several networks, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s Sleepy Hollow drama pitch has landed at Fox with a put pilot commitment. Underworld helmer Len Wiseman is on board to direct the the project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products. Described as a modern–day supernatural thriller based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, it follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.
Kurtzman and Orci will write the script with up-and-coming writer Phillip Iscove, on whose idea the project is based. Kurtzman, Orci and Wiseman executive produce Sleepy Hollow with K/O’s Heather Kadin. The project was taken to Fox on Thursday, where it received a great reception, before it was also pitched to CBS, ABC and NBC today. Fox ultimately stepped up with a put pilot commitment.
This is the first TV project Kurtzman and Orci will co-write since the 2010 launch of their K/O production company as a pod based at 20th TV. (K/O’s first major projects, Locke & Key and Exit Strategy, also went to Fox and got to pilot stage.) Kurtzman and Orci previously co-penned Fox’s Fringe with JJ Abrams and CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, both of which became … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The first big drama project of the 2012 pitch season has hit the marketplace.Sleepy Hollow hails from Transformers writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, with Underworld helmer Len Wiseman on board to direct. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products, is a modern–day supernatural thriller based on the legend of Sleepy Hollow. It follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.
Kurtzman and Orci will write the script with Phillip Iscove, on whose idea the project is based. Iscove is an up-and-coming writer who has been an assistant at UTA for the past five years and has had a script on the Black List. Kurtzman has a relationship with Wiseman and reached out to him to direct. Kurtzman and Orci previously worked with Wiseman on the Hawaii Five-0 pilot, which Kurtzman and Orci co-wrote and Wiseman directed. The three executive produce Sleepy Hollow with K/O’s Heather Kadin. The project is being pitched to Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC.
This is the first TV project Kurtzman and Orci will co-write since the 2010 launch of their K/O production company as a pod based at 20th TV. They … Read More »
Universal said the first projects in the exclusive two-year deal with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and their K/O Paper Products banner will be remakes of studio library titles The Mummy alongside producer Sean Daniel and writer Jon Spaihts and Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached. The writer-producers will set up shop on the Universal lot, and former assistants Ben Kim and Kim Cavyan will come aboard as creative executives. Kurtzman and Orci previously had a deal with David Ellison’s Skydance Productions but that didn’t take. Before that, they were with DreamWorks. Their credits include writing two Transformers movies and the Star Trek reboot as well as the disappointing Cowboys & Aliens. On the TV side, they created Fringe produce Hawaii Five-0. Here’s the full release:
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 1, 2011—Universal Pictures today announced the studio has signed a two-year first-look production deal with one of the leading writing/producing teams in the entertainment industry, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and their K/O Paper Products banner. The duo will kick off their new relationship with Universal by reimagining titles from the studio’s library including Van Helsing and The Mummy. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley.
Kurtzman and Orci have collaborated with some of the industry’s top creative minds including J.J. Abrams, with whom they wrote the third installment of Mission: Impossible, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. In 2007, they wrote Transformers and went on to write Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009. Together, those films grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. More recently, the pair wrote and executive produced 2009’s Star Trek, which grossed more than $385 million worldwide. Accompanying their impressive film resume, Kurtzman and Orci have found tremendous success in television, having created the series Fringe, writing/producing Alias and in 2010, producing the reboot of Hawaii Five-O. They also currently executive produce the highest rated show on Hasbro’s The Hub, Transformers Prime.
BREAKING: Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been tapped by Sony Pictures to rewrite the script for the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, the 3D Marc Webb-directed film that introduces Andrew Garfield as the webslinger and Emma Stone as his love interest Gwen Stacy. Sony releases the franchise relaunch July 3. The first draft was done by Amazing Spider-Man scribe James Vanderbilt. Sony has tentatively scheduled production for the first quarter of 2013.
Kurtzman & Orci are no strangers to event-sized movies. Aside from Star Trek and the upcoming sequel, which they wrote along with Damon Lindelof, their credits include two Transformers films and Mission: Impossible III. They are repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler. The duo will receive exec producer credits on the Spider-Man sequel, which is produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and the late Laura Ziskin. Read More »
Two weeks ago, Disney and DreamWorks announced a new title and a release date for the project once known as Welcome to People– it’s now known as People Like Usand is due to be released June 29. Now, three months before the film’s planned release, the companies have released a trailer, via Moviefone, for the dramatic comedy that stars Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer. It seems more weighted toward the dramatic than the comedy, at least judging by this trailer. The film marks the feature directing debut of co-writer Alex Kurtzman.
BREAKING: Details are sketchy at the moment, but Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products company is in negotiations to join David Ellison’s Skydance Productions. The deal would be uniquely structured, sources say; Skydance declined comment. Kurtzman and Orci are behind some of the bigger tent pole films of the past five years, including Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen as well as the Star Trek reboot and most recently Cowboys & Aliens in addition to TV series Alias and Fringe with JJ Abrams. Kurtzman and Orci are currently working on a Star Trek sequel, which they are producing with Ellison; Kurtzman, Orci and Ellison also are working together on the Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse, which Shawn Ryan is penning.