EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has taken a step forward on the reboot of The Legend Of Conan, which will bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the brawny king. The studio has closed a deal with Andrea Berloff to write the script. Best known for scripting World Trade Center, Berloff most recently adapted the French action film Sleepless Night for Warner Bros. She also wrote Straight Outta Compton for New Line and is writing a retelling of the King Arthur myth for Disney.
Related: Universal Reboots ‘Conan’ Franchise With Schwarzenegger
The franchise got a fresh start last October, when Universal and Schwarzenegger got involved, largely because of the passion of Chris Morgan, the scribe/producer who has minted money at the studio writing Fast & The Furious films. He was the one who decided to draw a parallel right back to the original raw, violent Conan films, which ended with the image of the barbarian king sitting atop his throne. The new film is about his efforts to stay there and the final cycle of a life spent obliterating anyone who got in his way. The Legend Of Conan is being produced by Fredrik Malmberg through Paradox Entertainment and Morgan & Emile Gladstone through their Chris Morgan Productions banner. Paradox owns the rights to the Robert E. Howard series, and we’re going to have to give them a mulligan on that ill-advised movie done with Jason Momoa. They are going back to Schwarzenegger, whose career as Hollywood’s top action star was launched by the 1982 Conan The Barbarian, which John Milius directed from a visceral script he wrote with Oliver Stone. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros, which last fall optioned remake rights to the French action film Sleepless Night at Toronto, is bent on pairing All You Need Is Kill scribe Dante Harper with World Trade Center scribe Andrea Berloff to figure out the English language version of the film. The writers just met but their participation together will come down to scheduling as both are busy. The Frederic Jardin-directed Sleepless Night focuses on an undercover cop who must trade a duffel bag full of cocaine for his son, who has been kidnapped by a drug dealer. The cop and his partner stole the drugs but were recognized. With his son’s life on the line, the cop must evade drug dealers all over the city and internal affairs to keep his kid alive. The remake is being produced by Roy Lee.
Harper scripted All You Need Is Kid, which Tom Cruise will star in for director Doug Liman later this year for Warner Bros, and the former production manager-turned scribe’s other work includes Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Foundaton. Berloff has several projects close to production starts, including a feature version of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys, The Fugees and Straight Outta Compton. She’s repped by UTA and Management 360, Harper by CAA and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: In his first sale under the 3-year overall deal with ABC Studios he signed in July, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker has set up a drama project at ABC from World Trade Center writer Andrea Berloff. Titled Chameleon, the project centers on a female undercover FBI agent who is a master of disguise. Per the terms of his ABC Studios deal, Zuiker developed the project with studio-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners, which will co-produce it with Zuiker’s Dare to Pass banner and ABC Studios. In addition to writing, Berloff will executive produce Chameleon with Zuiker, Brillstein’s TV president JoAnn Alfano and Zuiker’s manager, Brillstein’s Margaret Riley, while Dare to Pass’ president of production Matthew Weinberg is expected to get some sort of producing credit. Chameleon reunites Berloff, repped by UTA and Management 360, with ABC and ABC Studios, where she developed a Romeo & Juliet reboot last season.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is negotiating to finance and distribute Chrome and Paint, a gritty Boyz N’ The Hood-style drama that Ice Cube will direct and star in, based on a script he co-wrote with Eva Vives. The film is a drama about the custom car culture of South Central Los Angeles. Cube will produce with his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez.
Cube, who directed the 2010 Oakland Raiders documentary Straight Outta L.A. for ESPN, hasn’t directed a narrative feature since 1998′s The Players Club, which he also wrote. In Chrome and Paint, Cube uses the subculture of tricked out Mercedes, BMW and Low Rider cars to frame a drama about the temptation to place materialism above all else. The film has elements of Saturday Night Fever and American Graffiti. Disney’s interest came out of a general meeting with Cube. Disney exec Louanne Brickhouse, herself a car enthusiast, took an interest in the project as did production president Sean Bailey. Universal also showed interest in the film but has a similarly-themed project percolating.
To make it work for Disney, Cube will bring it in as a PG-13, even though he originally co-wrote it as an R-rated feature. The plan is to shoot by the end of summer after Vives does some rewrite while Cube stars in 21 Jump Street (starring with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, with Johnny Depp doing a cameo) for Sony Pictures. Cube, who most recently wrapped the Oren Moverman-directed … Read More »
Ice Cube is negotiating to join Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street. He is also preparing to shop Chrome and Paint, a gritty Boyz N’ The Hood-style drama that Cube wrote with Eva Vives as a starring and directing vehicle that focuses on custom car culture of South Central Los Angeles. In 21 Jump Street, Cube will play the precinct captain role originated by Steven Williams in the TV series that launched the career of Johnny Depp. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing the pic for Sony Pictures. Cube livens up the cast, but if they are planning to replicate the series plot about undercover cops that infiltrate schools, I’m still waiting to see if they cast anybody that remotely looks like they might be proofed in a bar. Depp was a baby-faced 24 when he started the series: Tatum is 30 and Hill is 27. Shooting begins in late April and Neal Moritz is producing.
Cube will jump into that film after he finishes a role in the New Line romancer New Year’s Eve, matched with Hilary Swank. Cube, who directed the 2010 Oakland Raiders documentary Straight Outta L.A. for ESPN, hasn’t directed a narrative feature since 1998′s The Players Club, which he also wrote. In Chrome and Paint, Cube uses the subculture of tricked out Mercedes, BMW and Low Rider cars to frame a drama about the temptation to place materialism above all else. Cube’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has attached himself to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist. Smith will play Cain, the original Bad Boy, and he will produce with Overbrook Entertainment partners Jada Pinkett Smith (his wife), James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz. The script was written by Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf, with Andrea Berloff revising. No studio or director yet for the Overbrook project. The production company is coming off The Karate Kid, which has so far grossed more that. $210 million worldwide. Smith is currently promoting that film internationally and in August he begins filming Men In Black 3.