EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal-owned Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films is teaming with True Detective maker Anonymous Content on what they predict will be a provocative new series, Nostradamus. Joseph Fiennes will produce and play the titular clairvoyant in the hour-long drama. Charlotte Markham And The House Of Darkling author Michael Boccacino wrote the project that was developed in partnership with executive producer Andrew Cosby. The story follows the legendary seer as he seeks deadly vengeance for the murder of his family. A complex, brooding character with immense appetites, Nostradamus is a charismatic and self-destructive man who is plagued with dangerous and disturbing visions.
The period series is set against the backdrop of the volatile, high-stakes world of the French Royal Court where the Provençal apothecary’s pleasure-seeking impulses and passionate thirst for revenge run headlong into the treacherous epicenter of social and political life of Renaissance era Europe. The project is in early development and episode totals and broadcasters have yet to be set. But it looks likely this will be one of those that seeks out the high-end UK TV tax credit.
Carnival and Anonymous Content are both riding high these days, each receiving 12 Emmy nominations for Downton Abbey and True Detective, respectively. Fiennes, who is repped by Anonymous Content, The Artists Partnership and WME, last appeared on television in the 2nd season of American Horror Story. … Read More »
As part of ramping up operations, Paramount Television has signed its first first-look deal, a three-year production pact with management/production company Anonymous Content, which executive produces HBO’s breakout hit True Detective. Under the agreement, Paramount TV will have first-look rights to produce and distribute scripted television programming developed by Anonymous Content for broadcast, premium cable, cable and online. Paramount TV’s first project with Anonymous Content, run by managing partners Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, will be a drama series inspired by Caleb Carr’s best-selling novel, The Alienist, which is set in 1896 New York. “I’ve known Steve both professionally and personally for many years, and I have enormous respect for the sophisticated and entertaining movies and television Anonymous Content creates,” said Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey. “As we build our television business, we are proud to welcome the Anonymous team into the Paramount family.”
Paramount TV, which was launched last summer with Amy Powell as president, recently received its first greenlight for three-hour Grease Live musical event on Fox in 2015. The studio’s development slate include an event series based on A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Lindbergh; a crime drama with Joe Carnahan in the vein of Narc; a re-imagination of The Truman Show with Andrew Niccol; an adaptation of Peter Moffat’s BBC series The Village with Sundance Prods. and All3Media; a television adaptation of Ghost with filmmakers Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner; and a multi-project deal with Craig Brewer for original scripted dramas.
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EXCLUSIVE: Princess Pictures has acquired screen rights to The Traitor’s Wife, the bestseller by Allison Pataki about Benedict Arnold’s historical betrayal of Gen. George Washington. Turns out that behind the most notorious turncoat of the American Revolutionary War was a wife half his age who orchestrated the whole thing. Peggy Shippen Arnold was a beautiful socialite with a loyalty to the British that led her to exploit her husband’s disillusionment into a scandalous move.
The label will team with Anonymous Content, which is coming off HBO’s True Detective. Washington learned of the plot when British Major John Andre was caught with Arnold’s traitorous documents in his boot. While Andre was hanged, Arnold fled and became a Brigadier General for the Brits. There has been a lot of chatter in the press about screen interest on this book by Pataki, who’s the daughter of former New York Gov. George Pataki. The film will be exec produced by Princess’ Pamela Fielder and David B. Ford, and Doreen Wilcox Little, Anonymous Content and Paul Green. Paradigm brokered the book deal with Lacy Lynch of Dupree/Miller, and Princess Pictures was also repped by Paradigm and attorneys Barry Hirsh and Ryan Nord. Read More »
Production and management outfit Anonymous Content has appointed Dave Fierson as Head of Business Operations. He most recently was head of the business and legal affairs department at Alcon Entertainment and before that was a senior counsel at Sony’s Screen Gems and an attorney in Paramount’s network TV production division. Anonymous Content CEO Steve Golin made the announcement today.
Kick-Ass producer Kris Thykier‘s Peapie Films and Anonymous Content are partnering on Repent, a thriller based on the true story of Swedish serial killer Thomas Quick. Quick is renown in Sweden for having confessed to killing 30 people in the 1990s. He was convicted and jailed on 8 of the murders, but later said he had made up the entire story. Some of his convictions have been overturned, but the Swedish judicial system has been tarnished as a result. Director Agnieszka Lukasiak (Between Two Fires) spent her early years as a documentarian interviewing Quick at a psychiatric hospital and has maintained a relationship with him for 15 years. The film will be told through the eyes of an investigative journalist. Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar’s Embankment Films will handle worldwide distribution and sales. Thykier, who’s also currently working on One Chance for The Weinstein Company, is producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Actress Beth Behrs has signed with Anonymous Content for management. She previously didn’t have a manager and continues to be repped by CAA. Behrs was one of the breakouts of the last TV season with her starring role opposite Kat Dennings in CBS’ hot new comedy 2 Broke Girls, which sold in off-network syndication to TBS for a record $1.7 million an episode in June after only one season on the air.
The management company will represent the actor in all areas. As well as joining Anonymous Content, Ray Stevenson will continue to be repped by WME and Conway van Gelder Grant. The actor also joins Showtime’s Dexter this season as crime boss Isaac Sirko. Season seven of the serial killer series debuts this Sunday. Known for his role as Titus Pullo on two seasons of HBO’s Rome, Stevenson will also been seen in the upcoming Billy Bob Thornton-directed comedy Jayne Mansfield’s Car with Robert Duvall and Kevin Bacon. The actor will be appearing in G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. Originally scheduled to come out on June 29, the Jon Chu-directed action sequel was moved to March 29, 2013 in late May. In another sequel, Stevenson will be reprising his bearded role as Volstagg from 2010’s Thor for Thor: The Dark World. Volstagg is one of the God of Thunder’s close companions. The Marvel sequel comes out on November 8, 2013.
Related: Toronto: Anchor Bay Acquires ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car’
Pierre Morel will helm Bastille Day, the Andrew Baldwin-scripted actioner about a young American artist living in Paris and a washed-up CIA agent who are tasked with diverting an imminent attack on the city. Anonymous Content developed the project with Baldwin and brought it to Vendome Pictures, which acquired the material on spec before it became available to others. Vendome CEO Philippe Rousselet will produce with Anonymous’ Steve Golin, Bard Dorros, and David Kanter. Vendome’s president of production Guy Stodel and VP Production and Development Sarah Schweitzman will oversee for Vendome, which is fully financing production. Morel, repped by CAA and Sentient Entertainment, helmed the Liam Neeson-starrer Taken and is currently directing ABC’s pilot Zero Hour. Baldwin is a busy guy, having recently written The Outsider, a Black List script in preproduction at Warner Bros with Daniel Espinoza directing. He also is writing Logan’s Run for Warners with Nicolas Winding Refn directing and Ryan Gosling starring. He is repped by CAA and Anonymous.
EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Fiennes has just signed with WME and Anonymous Content. Fiennes, who over the years has starred n such films as Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth, The Merchant of Venice and Enemy at the Gates, most recently starred in the Starz series Camelot and ABC’s Flash Forward. He continues to be repped in the UK by Roger Charteris of Ken McReddie Associates. Fiennes had been at UTA and Parseghian/Planco.
EXCLUSIVE: Niels Arden Oplev is in negotiations to direct Game Theory, a feature for Summit Entertainment and Participant Media. The screenplay, written by Michael Alan Lerner, centers on a college professor and game theorist who gets sucked into a large-scale global crisis. Temple Hill Entertainment is producing with Alex Goldstone and Adam Shulman of Anonymous Content. Summit president of production Erik Feig and VP production Gillian Bohrer are overseeing the project for the studio. Oplev, the Danish director who helmed the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, recently directed the pilot for CBS’ upcoming drama The Rememberer. He is repped by ICM.
EXCLUSIVE: Management/production company Anonymous Content is about to make a major play in the talent game. I’m hearing that Doug Wald is leaving his partnership at Raw Talent, Sandra Chang is leaving as partner at Industry Entertainment, and Tony Lipp is leaving CAA. The trio will lead Anonymous Content’s talent division and create a major infusion of acting clients. It is all taking shape today.
Lipp announced internally on Tuesday that he would leave CAA to be a manager. Wald and Chang dropped the bombshells this morning at their respective management companies. Anonymous has a modest talent business that included four managers and clients like Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Katie Cassidy, Omar Epps and Adrianne Palicki (just cast as Wonder Woman). The newcomers will greatly expand that list, and a lot of it is emerging talent. Among the actors already set to join: Sam Worthington, Paul Dano, Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Anna Faris, Max Minghella, Jack Quaid, Patrick Wilson, Justin Chambers, Jessica Walter, Jaime King, Matt Bomer, John Cleese, Blythe Danner, Jonathan Groff, Mamie Gummer, Nathan Lane, Simon Russell Beale and Stanley Tucci. Read More »
Michel Gondry is adapting and is attached to direct Ubik, the legendary book by scifi author Philip K. Dick. Steve Zaillian and Steve Golin are producing through Film Rites and Anonymous Content, with Golin putting up the financing for development until they shop to studios. (Zaillian’s Film Rites has its first look through DreamWorks, so the project could end up there.) The book was called one of the 100 greatest novels of all-time by Time Magazine. Film Rites’ Garrett Basch will be exec producer. The book is a metaphysical comedy of death and salvation, revolving around dead characters who give business advice, plan their next incarnation, and risk dying once again.
The late author, whose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep was turned into Blade Runner, next has The Adjustment Bureau coming with George Nolfi directing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and a remake of Total Recall in the works with Colin Farrell starring for director Len Wiseman.
Summit Entertainment has acquired Unexpected, a pitch comedy that will be written by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson, based on a treatment by Jennifer Eatz. Todd Garner will produce with Eatz. The writers, who scripted the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel-starrer Life As We Know It, this time focus on a husband and wife who find out they’re expecting their second child. While he’s thrilled, she has reservations because her first pregnancy was tough. After an untimely run-in with an ancient fertility totem, they switch bodies, and he gets to experience the business end of pregnancy.WME and Anonymous Content brokered the deal with attorney David Weber, with Summit production prexy Eric Feig and veep Meredith Milton overseeing.
The book-to-movie business is kicking back into gear. Hoping for another Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, New Regency has just acquired Three Seconds, part of a bestselling Swedish crime novel series by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom. Shine will produce and they will set a writer quickly. In Three Seconds, an ex-con who works undercover for the Stockholm police is charged with breaking the Polish mob’s stranglehold on amphetamine dealing in Sweden prisons. The ex-con gets himself arrested so he can infiltrate the mob in a maximum security prison. Beyond the fact his wife is unaware he’s working undercover, the operative’s challenge is to crack the ring and get out before he’s exposed. The book is the fifth novel in the series, was named Sweden’s top crime novel of 2009. The author team is intriguing, considering one’s a former journalist, the other an ex-criminal.The book was published by Silver Oak. Shine’s Sue Swift brought the book to Regency’s Michelle Kroes to get the deal started and Dan Wilson will oversee for Regency.
In other deals, a film option deal was made for Cutting For Stone, the Abraham Verghese novel optioned by Anonymous Content for its production company.
And Warner Bros and CBS Films will try to turn Stephen King’s celebrated novel The Stand into a feature. Given the spectacularly restrictive budgets that have forced CBS Films to rely on forgettable films like The Back-Up Plan and Extraordinary Measures, it seems likely Warner Bros will have to put up the dough for this to get off the ground. Even then, King’s apocalyptic epic will be very difficult to compress into a feature film, which is why it previously was turned into a 1994 TV miniseries. Each time I write about CBS Films, the question lingers: why did Les Moonves bother to form a feature division in the first place and hire away a capable exec like Amy Baer from Sony only to hobble her by not taking any big swings? Baer has a franchise percolating in Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, which focuses on ruthless government operative Mitch Rapp. It’s a Jack Ryan waiting to happen, but though CBS Films last year had discussions with Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost‘s Matthew Fox for the Rapp role, it still hasn’t happened. A lot has to do with the need to secure a partner. Hey, Les? In the movie business, it’s no guts, no glory. Deadline has heard that a “reconfiguring” is coming to the still struggling movie unit. CBS Films will make more acquisitions to fill the pipeline. Read More »
William Monahan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Departed, has signed with management firm Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar. Sugar joins WME’s Chris Donnelly and attorney David Fox on Monahan’s rep team. Monahan is in post-production on London Boulevard, making his directing debut on a script he wrote, with Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley starring for GK Films. He’s also adapted the John Grisham novel The Associate, and The Falcon’s Tale, for Paramount, but it seems clear he wants to continue to make directing a priority. Sugar’s filmmaker list includes Steven Soderbergh, Spider-Man’s Marc Webb, Tron Legacy’s Joe Kosinski and Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood.