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Hot Trailer: ‘The Equalizer’ With Denzel Washington

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 1:36pm PDT

The Equalizer title cardDenzel Washington may be a long way from Edward Woodward, but the just-released trailer for the upcoming film version of that 1980s series, showcases Washington’s usual chillier-than-the-Antarctic cool as he comes out of retirement as a black ops commando to rescue a young woman (Chloe Grace Moretz) and deal with Russian mobsters. Antoine Fuqua directs Washington (again), from a screenplay written by Richard Wenk, based on the television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim.  The film is produced by Washington along with Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Alex Siskin, Steve Tisch, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge and Michael Sloan.

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MGM Looking To Re-Team Denzel Washington And Antoine Fuqua In ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 8:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

traininNow, here’s a project I’d pay to see. MGM is in early discussions with Denzel Washington to star and Antoine Fuqua to direct The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the 1960 John Sturges-directed film. The talks are early stage, but if you get those two committed, it won’t be hard to get six other guys to round out the cast in the story of a town that assembles a squad of seven elite gunmen to protect it. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson were part of the ensemble cast of the original, which was released by United Artists and is a library title for MGM. The revived studio has coveted a remake for some time, originally developing a version for Tom Cruise. Nic Pizzolatto, who went on to write and exec produce HBO’s True Detective, wrote a draft and John Lee Hancock came on to rewrite a movie whose inspiration was Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. The setting is post Civil War, right at the end of the Wild West. Roger Birnbaum is producing it.

sevenmNo one this side of the late director Tony Scott is better at unleashing Washington’s inner badass than Fuqua. Fuqua directed Washington  to an Academy Award in Training Day, and the two of them re-teamed at Sony on The Equalizer. That film, scripted by Richard Wenk, got the studio so bullish that Sony and Escape … Read More »

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Antoine Fuqua Attached To Fox Drug Trafficking Thriller ‘Narco Sub’

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 1:11pm PDT
Mike Fleming

fuqEXCLUSIVE: Fox has attached The Equalizer helmer Antoine Fuqua to direct Narco Sub, the David Guggenheim-scripted thriller that has long been a priority project at the studio. It’s set in the dangerous world of drug smuggling, and the title refers to the semi-submersible crafts that South American drug cartels have been using to ship cocaine into the U.S. without having to deal with land-based authorities.

Related: Antoine Fuqua Closes Deal To Direct Kurt Sutter-Penned ‘Southpaw’

The pic will be produced by Scott Free’s Jules Daly, Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer and Genre Films’ Simon Kinberg. Elishia Holmes and Aditya Sood are exec producers. Kinberg had a hand in revising the script and Anthony Peckham as well. Fuqua is next directing Southpaw at The Weinstein Company, and his reteam with Training Day star Denzel Washington on The Equalizer has generated such strong buzz at Sony that a sequel is already in the works. Fuqua also is mulling The Magnificent Seven at MGM, but Narco Sub looks promising. Fuqua is repped by CAA.

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Antoine Fuqua Closes Deal To Direct Kurt Sutter-Penned ‘Southpaw’; Jake Gyllenhaal Set To Star

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 12:56pm PST

Antoine-FuquaJake GyllenhalEXCLUSIVE: Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) has chosen his next film. He will direct Southpaw, the drama written by Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter set in the boxing world. Jake Gyllenhaal is now set to star as a welterweight champion who rises in his profession while his personal life falls apart. The picture, financed by The Weinstein Company, will start before the cameras this summerFuqua was looking at a number of projects to helm but decided on Southpaw, and his deal closed last night. Still to cast is the other lead, Titus ‘Tick’ Willis, a former fighter who was forced to retire after losing an eye and was on his way to becoming a pro trainer but retreated after his son was killed. This is a movie that could include some breakthrough performances as the script plays to cultural diversity.

The project is being produced by Fuqua, Alan Riche and Peter Riche. Gyllenhaal is currently in production on Everest alongside Josh Brolin, Emily Watson and newcomer Clive Standen (Vikings) for Emmett/Furla and Universal. He last starred in the critically-acclaimed Prisoners and in Enemy which opens later this month in limited release via A24. The actor also stars in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler which does not yet have a distributor. Fuqua is repped by CAA, Gyllenhaal is repped by WME.

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‘Justified’s David Meunier Joins ‘The Equalizer’

By | Monday June 3, 2013 @ 2:57pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: David Meunier (Justified, Revolution) has been cast alongside Denzel Washington, Melissa Leo, and Chloe Moretz in Antoine Fuqua‘s The Equalizer. He’ll play Slavi, a brutal and sleazy Russian pimp involved with Teri, the young prostitute played by Moretz. The $50 million thriller is adapted from CBS’ 1980s series about Robert McCall, an ex-covert agent who hires himself out to those in need. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch are producing for Escape Artists with Alex Siskin, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, and original series creator Michael Sloan. David Bloomfield is exec producing. Sony‘s already set an April 11, 2014 release for the pic which reunites Fuqua with his Training Day star Washington and his Olympus Has Fallen actress Leo. Meunier plays the recurring role of Johnny Crowder on FX’s Justified, which returns for its fifth season next January. He’s repped by Justice & Ponder and Ellis Talent Group.

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Antoine Fuqua Eyes ‘Training Day’ Re-Team With Denzel Washington In ‘The Equalizer’

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of the opening of his latest film Olympus Has Fallen, director Antoine Fuqua is in early talks to re-team with his Training Day star Denzel Washington on The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. That is the film that has had a lot of helmers chasing after the script by Richard Wenk prompted the studio to expedite Washington’s deal and set a late spring start date, likely in Boston. The film is a smartly budgeted thriller based on the TV series that will come in around $50 million and is designed to launch the first franchise for Washington, who’s coming off an Oscar-nominated turn in Flight.

Fuqua directed Washington to an Academy Award for Best Actor in Training Day for his portrayal of a crooked cop who creates havoc for a recruit (Ethan Hawke) he’s supposed to be training to join an elite undercover force. It was a full out badass performance, and Fuqua and Washington have been looking to work together ever since. This certainly seems like a strong fit for the helmer whose recent films have included Brooklyn’s Finest and Shooter. Read More »

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Antoine Fuqua Offered ‘Olympus Has Fallen’

By | Tuesday April 10, 2012 @ 3:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING… Antoine Fuqua has been offered Olympus Has Fallen, the White House takeover script by Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt that Gerry Butler will star in for Avi Lerner’s Millennium. Fuqua is thinking it over, but he’s mulling numerous other jobs too, including Chicagoland, a crime story for New Line with a script by Peter Morgan. He’ll also be in the mix for the 24 movie when that comes back around on Kiefer Sutherland’s next hiatus. Fuqua’s repped by CAA. There is a reason for Lerner to want to hurry, after Roland Emmerich signed to direct a similar project, White House Down at Sony. Both are Die Hard At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and how many of those can you have?

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Phoenix Co-President Bradley Fischer Forms Mythology With Scribes Laeta Kalogridis And James Vanderbilt

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Phoenix Pictures co-president Bradley J. Fischer has formed Mythology Entertainment in partnership with screenwriter/producers Laeta Kalogridis and James Vanderbilt. With backing from private investors, Mythology will develop and package projects internally before taking them to studios and financiers. The scope is film, TV and digital, and the slate will include projects scripted by Kalogridis and Vanderbilt. Mythology starts the venture with an Antoine Fuqua-directed Showtime documentary on Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight, and a feature rights deal to late author John Bellairs’ Lewis Barnavelt series of gothic horror novels for kids. Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has been hired to write the script and produce.

First published in 1973, the book series has spanned 12 volumes, with illustrations from artist Edward Gorey. The books began with The House with a Clock in its Walls, which introduced the orphaned protagonist Lewis as he moves into his uncle’s spooky old Victorian mansion. Strange noises lead the lad to find secret passageways, hidden rooms and the unsettling discovery his peculiar uncle is a warlock. The boy finds his spell book and unwittingly resurrects an evil wizard who sets in motion a chain of supernatural events tied to an ancient secret hidden within the mansion’s walls. After Bellairs died, the series was continued by Brad Strickland.

“Jamie, Laeta and I are thrilled to launch … Read More »

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MGM Ordering Up ‘Killer Pizza’

By | Tuesday November 8, 2011 @ 3:52pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: MGM is in talks to acquire Killer Pizza, an Adam Green-scripted adaptation of the Greg Taylor book about a 14-year old boy who lands a summer job at a pizza joint that is actually a front for a monster hunting enterprise. Rafaella De Laurentiis is producing with 1492 Pictures and CJ Entertainment. 1492 Entertainment’s Chris Columbus brought it to MGM after meeting with the brass there and sensing the studio’s appetite for Gremlins and Goonies-type fare, and Killer Pizza fit that bill. After a long period of being frozen, MGM has become an active buyer, recently partnering with Sony on the Antoine Fuqua-directed Eminem-starrer Southpaw after DreamWorks let that project go. The company also acquired Where’s Waldo, which had been developed as an animated film property by Illumination Entertainment. APA and Industry rep the writer and CAA repped the book.

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Will MGM/Sony Bid KO Competition For Eminem Boxing Drama ‘Southpaw?’

By | Wednesday October 19, 2011 @ 3:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing a bid made by MGM–with Sony Pictures distributing–is now the frontrunner for Southpaw, the Antoine Fuqua-directed boxing film that will star Eminem. The other suitors in the ring on this have been Alcon Entertainment and Summit Entertainment. There was no comment from the parties involved. Deadline revealed in August that DreamWorks had dropped out of the  boxing drama that had Eminem poised to return to the screen for the first time since 2002′s 8 Mile, and Fuqua directing a script by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. Suitors were all over it, quickly. DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider, who bought the project as a pitch last year and who worked closely with Eminem and his team on 8 Mile while she ran Universal, basically gave the project back to the filmmakers to set up elsewhere. Several outlets were impressed by the script and how it was a custom fit for the tribulations overcome by Eminem after he became a big hip hop star. Eminem will play a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to a tragedy. The drama is about his fight to reclaim past glory for himself and his young daughter. Sutter told me at the time that the project was partly inspired by Eminem’s own struggles that inform his music and mirror his … Read More »

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Showtime To Make Push In Documentary Production, Greenlights Suge Knight Feature Documentary Helmed By Antoine Fuqua

By | Tuesday September 27, 2011 @ 11:57am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has greenlighted Suge Knight (working title), a feature-length documentary about the Death Row Records co-founder as well as the volatile and influential era in music over which he presided. The project will be directed by Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua. Suge Knight, produced by Bradley J. Fischer and Fuqua, will be the first in a series of new documentaries produced by Showtime that will spotlight iconic and controversial figures and be done by A-list filmmakers. The documentary marks Knight’s return to the music business; through his new company Black Kapital, he will oversee the film’s soundtrack. Read More »

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Eminem-Antoine Fuqua Boxing Drama ‘Southpaw’ Dropped By DreamWorks But Still Seeking To Answer Bell

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has thrown in the towel on Southpaw, the boxing drama that has Eminem returning to the screen for the first time since 2002′s 8 Mile, and Antoine Fuqua directing a script by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. The plan was to start in January. DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider, who worked closely with Eminem and his team on 8 Mile while she ran Universal, basically gave the project back to the filmmakers to set up elsewhere and that’s what they are trying to do. Maybe DreamWorks was concerned the market is crowded with  brawler films after The Fighter and the upcoming Gavin O’Connor-directed mixed martial arts drama Warrior, or maybe the studio’s cautious after its big bet on Cowboys & Aliens didn’t pay off. (I’m sure it’s coincidence that Snider once unplugged the Fuqua-directed version of American Gangster before putting the picture back together with Ridley Scott). But given the appetite of a crop of distributors looking for wide release product, I’d be surprised if this one, which is fully packaged, doesn’t get off the canvas quickly. Read More »

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Summit Is ‘Storming Las Vegas’ With Antoine Fuqua

By | Thursday July 28, 2011 @ 5:10pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired screen rights to John Huddy’s non-fiction book Storming Las Vegas: How a Cuban-Born, Soviet-Trained Commando Took Down The Strip to the Tune of Five World Class Hotels, Three Armored Cars, and Millions of Dollars. Summit has attached Antoine Fuqua to direct, Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce, and they smartly plan to title the movie, simply, Storming Las Vegas.

Published in 2008 by Random House, the book told the rags-to-riches story of a modern-day Robin Hood. Jose Vigoa was a larger-than-life Cuban-born commando veteran of the Soviet army who found his way to Vegas in the 1990s at a time when casinos were trying to embrace a squeaky clean image. Vigoa and his crew embarked on a violent 16-month crime wave that targeted some of the town’s most prominent casinos. He was pitted against a 23-year vet of the Vegas police force, who was charged with tracking down Vigoa and his cohorts without letting the story make the papers and spoil Vegas’ image. Fuqua, who last directed Brooklyn’s Finest, is also in business with Summit developing the action thriller The Tomb. CAA repped both the book and Fuqua in the deal.

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Q&A: Brian Grazer And Ron Howard On 25 Years Together As Imagine Partners

Mike Fleming

UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have reached a milestone unusual in Hollywood: partners for 25 years. When they first got together, Grazer was a TV producer. Howard, after growing up on the small screen in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, had only directed a couple of TV movies and the low budget Roger Corman-produced Grand Theft Auto. Grazer and Howard have been at it together ever since, building a company that over 25 years has been one of the most consistent generators of content. Their TV series output includes 24, Parenthood, Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights; their movies have grossed $13.5 billion worldwide. That includes A Beautiful Mind, which won Howard the Academy Award for Best Director. Grazer and Howard shared Best Picture Oscars that night as well. Not everything they’ve done has succeeded, of course. They they took their company public and repurchased the shares; they helped launched and fold the online venture Pop.com; their most recent film together, the adult comedy The Dilemma, was a misfire that created controversy over the inclusion of the word “gay” in a trailer. They’ve had way more hits than misses.

In honor of Imagine’s Silver Anniversary, Deadline invited Howard and Grazer to look back over their quarter century together, and into a future that includes something never tried before by anyone in Hollywood. They’re adapting Stephen King’s 7-novel series The Dark Tower into a film trilogy, and a limited run TV series in between. It has pushed the envelope enough that their longtime home studio, Universal  Pictures, postponed a planned late summer start until next year and asked the filmmakers to cut the budget. Some question the studio’s resolve on such a massive undertaking. The studio has to green light the film by next month or the rights revert to Imagine, Akiva Goldsman and King, who are determined to make it regardless.

DEADLINE: Not many marriages of any kind last 25 years in Hollywood. What is most important about the anniversary?
HOWARD: It’s such a challenging time to get movies made. And yet, look at all we have coming out. Tower Heist, the Gus Van Sant movie Restless, J Edgar with Clint Eastwood and Leo DiCaprio, Cowboys & Aliens, this big broad appeal four quadrant fantasy adventure story with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. With The Playboy Club getting on the air, and Parenthood getting picked up, I’m proud we’re doing what we’ve always done. A wide variety of projects that got made because we care and put in the energy to get them done in light of how difficult it is these days.

DEADLINE: I’ve watched filmmaker partnerships fail because of jealousy, ego, greed, or lack of sustained success. Why have you avoided those pitfalls?
HOWARD: The bi-coastal relationship!

DEADLINE: Simple as that?
HOWARD: Because I’m in New York, we’re not forced to stare at each other’s faces 24/7. But I think that’s not really it. We love what we’re doing, we have fun doing it and our sensibilities are in sync. In a business that can create so many feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, I learned to trust in that. Brian is smart and cares about me doing well and feeling good about what I’m doing. It’s a partnership built on support. It has been that way since the beginning.
GRAZER: It works because we have similar tastes and not only gravitate toward the same material but also what lives inside the core of the movie it becomes. We’ve done, and Ron has directed, all kinds of genres. We have a common interest in the humanity aspect of a movie, regardless if it’s a comedy or a drama. We also share a similar work ethic.

DEADLINE: When you cover all genres, does Imagine have a wheelhouse? For a company looking to last, is it advisable to have one?
HOWARD: The process is what gets Brian and me excited, whatever the genre. Not specializing has given our company a sense of flexibility and adaptability to whatever the market or the zeitgeist is suggesting. We’ve always respected each other as creative people. If Brian loves something and I don’t quite get it, I’ll tell him that but I’ll never try to impede the progress. He’s the same with me. With Apollo 13, I  wasn’t sure the genre would work, because space films hadn’t done that well. Brian was instantly so excited about it, and made me realize we were onto something. 8 Mile, I don’t know anything about rap. This was something he understood. I didn’t know how to make that movie, but I recognized a great idea. Whenever the two of us get excited, on films like Splash, Night Shift and Parenthood, those have resulted in the building blocks of the company. I’ve always liked TV  but I phased it out for awhile and it was Brian’s perseverance that has made us strong in both TV and films. Independent companies are rarely strong in both.
GRAZER: What we’ve do is agree on the moral center of a project, but nobody’s better at finding the language of a particular movie than Ron. He’s got a grasp of understanding  new vocabularies, whether it’s the The Da Vinci Code, fantasy like Cocoon or Splash, or Backdraft and The Grinch. He is great at inhabiting a world and completely understanding and expressing its language. In A Beautiful Mind, he entered that world and understood the medical science of mental illness. So there have been times where he led the charge, and I was drawn in by his excitement.

DEADLINE: What was the last hard conversation or professional disagreement you can remember?
HOWARD: I can’t think of one offhand, but even when we have disagreements, I can’t think of a case where one of us ever said, ‘Oh, please don’t do this.’ If there’s a lot of passion from one or the other, then the support of the company is going to be there. Read More »

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Fox Chooses James Mangold On ‘Wolverine’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James Mangold is 20th Century Fox’s  and star Hugh Jackman’s choice to direct The Wolverine, ending one of the most competitive contests among directors for a major studio film. Negotiations are about to get underway, but I’m told that Mangold will take the helming job on the sequel to the X-Men spinoff film, a post that became vacant when Darren Aronofsky dropped out of the film in March. I’d heard that Mangold was on a very short list coming into this week, along with Warrior director Gavin O’Connor and Brooklyn’s Finest helmer Antoine Fuqua. I’ve heard that Fox will look to start principal photography in the fall. Scripted by Christopher McQuarrie, The Wolverine takes place mostly in Japan. Mangold most recently directed the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz starrer Knight and Day for Fox, and before that 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line. Mangold’s repped by WME and Management 360.

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CBS Films Targets ‘American Assassin’ To Launch Mitch Rapp Franchise, Sets Ed Zwick To Direct

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has redrawn its plans to launch a film franchise based on the Vince Flynn novel series about CIA agent  and Mitch Rapp. Ed Zwick has come aboard to direct an adaptation of American Assassin, a bestseller published last fall by Atria. Though it was the 11th book in the  Rapp series, American Assassin was a prequel that told the story of how, as a college scholar and athlete, tragedy forged Rapp’s path to become a ruthless hunter of terrorists for the CIA.

CBS Films, which first acquired the rights to Flynn’s popular book series in 2008, originally intended to start with Consent to Kill, an action-packed thriller that contains several twists that change Rapp’s life permanently. CBS Films got as far as attaching Antoine Fuqua to direct and courting Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost’s Matthew Fox to play Rapp.

Instead, Flynn’s prequel novel provided a way to start the series at the very beginning of Rapp’s covert career. That means they will tap the strong crop of young leading men, much the way that Paramount Pictures signed Chris Pine to re-launch its Jack Ryan series. Consent to Kill will come later.

Zwick is writing the script with partner Marshall Herskovitz, and they will join Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler as producers. Zwick last directed Love and Other Drugs, and Defiance and Blood Diamond before that.

“We were prepping Consent to Kill when Vince told us he was going … Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: The Rise Of Feature Directors

Nellie Andreeva

In a series of stories, I’ll take an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

In what was probably the last big pilot director signing this season, Jaume Collet-Sera yesterday closed a deal to direct ABC’s The River hours before the premiere of his new movie, the Liam Neeson starrer Unknown. It was a fitting end to a pilot director hiring season that was dominated by feature helmers.

Among those signed for pilots are Jonathan Demme (CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant), Shawn Levy (Fox’s Comedy Album), Phillip Noyce (ABC’s Revenge), Antoine Fuqua (Fox’s Exit Strategy), James Mangold (CBS’ Rookies) Michael Apted (ABC’s Hallelujah), Eclipse director David Slade (NBC’s REM), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev (CBS’ Redlich/Bellucci), Mark Romanek (Fox’s Locke & Key) and Easy A helmer Will Gluck (Fox’s Iceland). Two filmmakers, Stephen Gaghan and Michael Patrick King, are directing their own scripts, NBC’s S.I.L.A. and A Mann’s World, respectively, while Peter Berg is directing NBC’s Prime Suspect, which he also produces. Also approached for pilots were McG, Tony Scott and Brett Ratner, but no deals were made, mostly because of feature scheduling conflicts.

The trend of going after feature directors for pilots started in the early 2000s with the success of CBS’ CSI, which was attributed in part to the show’s distinct look and visual effects brought in by feature director Danny Cannon, who made his TV debut with the … Read More »

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Morgan Creek’s ‘Tupac’ Gets Underway This Summer

By | Thursday February 10, 2011 @ 4:38pm PST
Mike Fleming

Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2011 – Principal photography is scheduled to begin in late Spring/early Summer on the biopic “TUPAC,” it was announced today James G. Robinson, Co-Chairman/CEO, and Rick Nicita, Co-Chairman/COO, of Morgan Creek Productions. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Brooklyn’s Finest”), the film will be shot on location in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia and Las Vegas and is currently being cast.

The film chronicles the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, including his rise to superstardom as a hip hop artist and actor, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records, where he was steeped in the East coast/West coast rap war.

In her support of the upcoming biopic of her late son, Afeni Shakur-Davis said, “I am confident that Morgan Creek will stay true to the common goal we share of depicting Tupac’s life in a way that will allow the world to see the authenticity of his artistry, his hopes, and his life goals.“

Commented producer LT Hutton,”I am honored to be part of the process that is bringing his life and legacy to the big screen. I am thankful to Afeni Shakur for giving this project her blessing and to Morgan Creek for giving it the green light.”

“TUPAC” will be produced by James G. Robinson, David Robinson and LT Hutton, and executive produced by Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The

Read More »

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Fox Picks Up ‘Exit Strategy’ Pilot Starring Ethan Hawke; Antoine Fuqua To Direct

Nellie Andreeva

Fox has handed a pilot order to the Ethan Hawke-starring drama Exit Strategy. Antoine Fuqua, who directed Hawke in his Oscar nominated performance in Training Day, is on board to direct the pilot, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s 20th TV-based K.O. Paper Products. Exit Strategy, which is being written by David Guggenheim (Safe House), was originally set up at Fox in September with a put pilot commitment. After months of discussions, Hawke came on board in December to star and produce. He, in turn, invited Fuqua to direct the pilot. In addition to  Training Day, Fuqua directed Hawke in Brooklyn’s Finest. Fuqua will also exec produce the pilot.

Described as a high octane procedural, Exit Strategy centers on a team of 5 experts associated with the CIA who are deployed when a CIA operation goes bad to extract the ones involved before it’s too late. Hawke will play the team leader, the architect of exit strategy who also empathizes with the people they extract and would rather die than let them get hurt. Each episode will tackle a different crisis in a different country. Exit Strategy is envisioned as a potential successor to Fox’s signature drama 24. Like 24, the action in Exit Strategy will also unfold in real-time. And like 24′s Kiefer Sutherland, Hawke would segue from the feature world to take on the lead in … Read More »

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