EXCLUSIVE: John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who’ve scripted The Game and Terminator 3, have been set to write Influence, a thriller that incorporates a true story and terrorism and the dynamics of geopolitical power. Based on Dr. William Chasey’s book, Truth Never Dies, the story details how Chasey, a high-powered Washington lobbyist, took a job representing Muammar al-Gaddafi’s Libya in the wake of the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan AM 103, only to see his life systematically dismantled by the U.S. government.
In his quest to understand why, Chasey discovered a CIA-led conspiracy to conceal the truth behind one of the worst terrorist acts in history. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar and Richard Middleton (The Artist) will produce along with the author, Renée George will be exec producer.
This comes a day after producer Scott Stuber has a production start on Kill The Messenger, a Jeremy Renner-starrer about Gary Webb, a journalist who uncovered and reported CIA involvement in the importation of crack cocaine in California. The agency smeared him, he lost his job and committed suicide.
After a short glowing respite with those hunt for Bin Laden movies, we can once again go back to fearing these shadowy government agencies.
EXCLUSIVE: Evan Rachel Wood has landed the female lead in 10 Things I Hate About Life, the film that is being mounted by the producing and directing duo behind the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You. That’s writer-director Gil Junger and producer Andrew Lazar, who’s producing with Junger and Intandem Films CEO Gary Smith. The Los Angeles-set romantic comedy isn’t a sequel to the 1999 film that starred Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rather, it’s about a young man and woman who meet while each is attempting to commit suicide, and they find in each other some great reasons to keep on living. Production begins shortly in LA. Last seen in The Ides Of March, Wood has several films coming up including The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman. She’s repped by CAA.
The producing and directing duo behind the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You is reuniting for 10 Things I Hate About Life. London-based Intandem Films has greenlighted the project from writer-director Gil Junger and producer Andrew Lazar. Despite the similar titles, the romantic comedy that’s set in Los Angeles is not a sequel to the 1999 film that starred Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rather, it’s about a young man and woman who meet while each is attempting to commit suicide. Love develops and the pair realize life is worth living. Intandem CEO Gary Smith, who’s also producing, tells me, “It’s an uplifiting story but takes on the subject of misunderstood people.” The couple is currently being cast by Marcia Ross. Intandem is financing and selling the film, which will also be released in the UK by the company’s new distribution arm. Production starts in LA in November where Smith says the film wouldn’t have been able to shoot without help from the California Film Commission, which invested in the roughly $10M budget. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Barry Sonnenfeld is in talks to direct Dwayne Johnson in Lore, a film based on an Ashley Wood IDW graphic novel about a secret order that defends the world against creatures thought to be mythological, but which actually exist. It becomes another big movie for Warner Bros. The film is being produced by Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar is producing with Circle Of Confusion’s David Alpert and Rick Jacobs.
This was a hot job, and I’d heard the studio met with a bunch of good directors. Sonnenfeld makes a degree of sense. When I first wrote about the project when it was acquired in April in a 7-figure spec deal that involved four studios fighting for it, it was described to me as tonally similar to Men In Black, and Sonnenfeld directed all three of those. Cory Goodman wrote the script with Jeremy Lott. Ted Adams from IDW Publishing and Wood are exec producers along with Mad Chance’s Miri Yoon.
Sonnenfeld is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Myriad Pictures has acquired the Stephen Belber script Love And Weapons, and Andrew Lazar will produce alongside Kirk D’Amico. In the spirit of Three Kings, Love And Weapons is a wild ride of a love story set against the backdrop of travelling UN weapons inspectors. A search is underway for a director.
Belber is currently writing a script based on the 60 Minutes segment Gospel for Teens for Universal Pictures. In addition, Belber is adapting Why Should White Guys Have All Of The Fun, as a starring vehicle for Jamie Foxx, and he is scripting Eat This Document for Moneyball director Bennett Miller. Belber and Lazar are represented by ICM Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC already has a series set behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show in Emmy-winning comedy 30 Rock. Now the network is looking to pull back the veil on the inner workings of reality series. NBC has bought American Dream, an hourlong spec written by Paul Kolsby and executive produced by Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, feature producer Andrew Lazar and Steve Shainberg. Shainberg, director of the 2002 feature Secretary, is also attached to direct the potential pilot. American Dream is described as a bitingly funny, risque and sophisticated melodrama about the symbiotic relationship between network executives and the “talent” in a reality television series.
Kolsby, a playwright and screenwriter, had a lot of personal experience to draw on in writing the American Dream — he has worked as a producer on a number of reality series, including Jersey Shore and Bridezillas. Kolsby developed the project with Shainberg and Lazar. Original Artists, which reps Kolsby and Lazar then gave the script to Hargitay who loved it and came on board as an executive producer. Through her producing deal at NBC, she took the script to the network’s brass who picked it up. Hargitay is repped by CAA; Shainberg is managed by Industry Entertainment. Lazar is currently producing Akira for Warners with Jaume Collete-Serra directing and Gunslinger for New Regency with James Mangold directing.
EXCLUSIVE: Platinum Studios, a producer of the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens, has joined forces with Andrew Lazar and Top Cow Productions to turn the Top Cow comic Vice into a live action feature film. Vice tells the story of hard-core teen felons who join the FBI’s Critical Response Unit as a way to clear their records. Their bad attitudes and formidable powers make them as dangerous as the bad guys they pursue. Top Cow president Matt Hawkins created the comic in 2005. Lazar will produce with Platinum Studios chairman/CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, and Randy Greenberg will be exec producer with Hawkins and Marc Silvestri.