Radical Studios Founders Barry Levine And Jesse Berger Sign With CAA

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 1:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

Barry_and_Jesse_-_Oblivion_PremiereEXCLUSIVE: Radical Studios has signed with CAA as the company builds itself in film, TV, publishing and interactive. The venture, founded by Barry Levine and Jesse Berger, has created print intellectual properties that already have translated to other platforms. It has more than 40 titles and 1000 characters, and came out of the gate with the Tom Cruise-starrer Oblivion – which began as a Radical Publishing graphic novel from an idea by Joseph Kosinski, who directed the film. Radical has wrapped its second intellectual property transfer, the Brett Ratner-directed Hercules with Dwayne Johnson for MGM/Paramount, which the latter releases next July. That was based on the Radical Publishing comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Radical recently set a multimillion-dollar China-based joint venture with Le Vision Pictures which enables the company to access stories, talent and distribution through the partnership. First project in that venture is Mandate Of Heaven, which was formerly developed under the title Clans Of The Sacred Stone.

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Tom Cruise Commits To $100 Million Universal Sci-Fi Pic ‘Oblivion’ For Fall

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Cruise has committed to star for Universal Pictures in Oblivion, the science fiction film that will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who last helmed Tron: Legacy. Production will begin in October. Cruise had been loosely attached to the Radical Publishing graphic novel adaptation when Disney let it go and Universal committed to finance and distribute the $100 million film, which came with a William Monahan script that was being rewritten by Karl Gajdusek. Kosinski hatched the idea for the project and set it to be published by Barry Levine’s graphic novel imprint as a calling card for a movie when Kosinski was busy for so long directing Tron: Legacy, which topped out at $400 million worldwide gross.

Disney acquired the graphic novel in a heated auction last summer, and Universal was one of the studios that also chased it. It takes place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population lives in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered uninhabitable. Cruise will play a soldier who’s stuck alone on the planet, repairing the drones that patrol and destroy a savage alien life form. He encounters a beautiful woman who crashes in a craft, and their experience together forces him to question his world view. Disney allowed Kosinski to shop it because it didn’t fit its family-film mold and attempts to rein it in to a PG rating was creatively strangling the project. It will be PG-13. Read More »

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Universal In Lead To Adopt Joseph Kosinski’s ‘Oblivion’ With Tom Cruise

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has emerged as the front-runner to finance and distribute Oblivion, the Joseph Kosinski-directed sci-fi project that has Tom Cruise in early talks to star. The studio has entered into exclusive negotiations for a deal that would carry progress to production language, with a goal to begin shooting in October.  The deal hinges on Kosinski’s ability to bring in the film at around the $100 million mark. Cruise doesn’t have a deal at this point, but they are talking. Deadline told you last week that Universal was among three studios chasing the film. The film was scripted by William Monahan, with  Karl Gajdusek currently rewriting.

Oblivion recently shook loose from Disney, where Kosinski made his feature directorial debut on Tron: Legacy. That film just hit the $400 million worldwide gross mark for Disney, and the studio has a Tron sequel and other projects with Kosinski. But the studio let the filmmaker shop it because the post-apocalyptic Oblivion premise didn’t fit the studio’s family film mandate. Attempts to bring it in as a PG film was creatively strangling the project. It will be made as PG-13.

The project is based on a Radical Publishing graphic novel that came from an idea by Kosinski, and was published by Barry Levine’s imprint while Kosinski was preoccupied with Tron. The graphic novel was always viewed as a blueprint for a feature film, and Disney acquired in a heated auction last summer. Universal was among the studios chasing it last summer, along with Paramount and Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Oblivion is a futuristic science fiction love story that takes place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population lives in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered for the most part uninhabitable. An earthbound soldier — stuck there repairing drones that patrol and blast a savage alien life form — encounters a beautiful woman who crashed in a craft, and they have an experience that forces him to question his world view. There are really only a handful of characters in the last-man-on-earth storyline, and so the feeling is that Cruise is a strong match. Read More »

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