UPDATE, 12:04 PM: By Warner Bros jumping aboard the high-profile Johnny Depp-Joel Edgerton pic Black Mass, it means the studio won’t be taking on another Whitey Bulger project in its own backyard: the one that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had been developing for a couple of years as a starring vehicle for Damon via their Warners-based Pearl Street Films. I’m hearing that Affleck and Damon were given a day or two advance notice that the studio was putting its eggs in the Black Mass basket, but that news came just a day before the latest rewrite was turned in by Aaron Stockard, who worked with Affleck on The Town and Gone Baby Gone and who rewrote the script by Oscar nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter. There was much enthusiasm, then radio silence, and then…Naturally there are bruised feelings that Warners will have to repair with two of its most valuable players, as this was the first project pitched for Affleck to direct and Damon to star after Pearl Street inked its overall deal there, and I’m told the studio assured the pair it wanted to make their movie.
This is all a part of the big rough and tumble game of studios needing to fill slates, and clearly someone was going to come out first with a Bulger biopic. But there are plenty of reasons to smooth any ruffles here. Affleck is directing and starring in Warner Bros’ Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. It’s the follow-up to the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo he made for the studio. He also is playing Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman Vs. Superman. Read More »
CBS has given a pilot order to More Time With Family, a multi-camera comedy starring comedian Tom Papa. The project, which had a put pilot commitment, was one of the … Read More »
Despite a historic tie for best picture at the PGA Awards a week ago, the most talked about moment from the ceremony was when Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television winner Chuck Lorre recounted a brief bathroom encounter with Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes when the two peed next to each other. “Yes, I peeked. And yes, Comic-Con — he can play Batman,” Lorre said to roaring laughter, a line that later sparked a witty response from best picture presenter Affleck (watch the video below). Now Lorre used a vanity card that aired at the end of his CBS comedies Mike & Molly and Mom last night to set the record straight on the described encounter (yes, it was a joke). He revealed the original versions of the anecdote that would’ve featured director Martin Scorsese and mogul Harvey Weinstein as well as the reasons he rejected them before settling on Affleck. Here is the card:
Not that it really matters, but the joke I made at the Producers Guild Awards regarding Ben Affleck’s genitals being of sufficient size to fill the caped crusader’s codpiece was just that, a joke. I’ve never met Mr. Affleck in or out of a men’s room. Nor am I in the habit of peeking at another guy’s junk while standing at a urinal. (I mostly stare at the tiles and worry that the invisible auto-flush light beam is secretly cooking my internal organs.) I just wanted to open my speech with a cheap laugh about the Golden Globes. To be completely honest, the original version of the joke had me peeing next to and peeking at Martin Scorsese — who was, at best, a grower not a show-er. I cut it, wisely I thought, because it felt unfair to “belittle” a giant of cinema, even if I had issues with “Hugo.” I then considered telling the same joke with Harvey Weinstein as the celebrity at the neighboring stall, but cut that as well because I worried that he might be able to have me hurt.
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Blame it on Batman. There has been a change in plans for Fox’s high profile drama project The Middle Man, which has a pilot order and has been on track to series under Fox’s new development model. Oscar winner … Read More »
The Producers Guild Of America‘s Sunday night awards show produced a lot of dramatic highlights but also a couple of very funny moments, mostly due to Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television winner Chuck Lorre‘s amusing and, at times, touching acceptance speech. The funniest bit, though, had to … Read More »
UPDATED: The studio’s new release date of May 6, 2016 is almost a year after the Superman-Batman movie’s original date and might sound familiar: it is the same weekend as an untitled Marvel movie, setting up a superhero … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: My, there has been a flurry of pre-holiday material sales. In the latest, Warner Bros has acquired an action-adventure spec script written by John Krasinski and Oren Uziel. Krasinski and his Sunday Night banner will team with Pearl … Read More »
Catch up on Deadline’s best film stories of the week:
Emerging Star Gal Gadot Set To Play Wonder Woman In ‘Batman Vs. Superman’
By Mike Fleming Jr. – Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have found their Wonder Woman. They’ve cast Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot in the iconic role and she will be part of Batman Vs. Superman, the film that will see Henry Cavill square off with Ben Affleck.
Paul Walker’s Manager Matt Luber Looks Back On 18 Years Growing Up Together
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: When they help build a Hollywood star career, agents and managers know it can all end in a moment. That usually comes in the form of a phone call, informing them that client has dropped them for another rep. While that is hard to bear, I have been imagining how much worse it has been for Luber Rocklin Entertainment’s Matt Luber. His 18-year run with Paul Walker ended with a Saturday phone call as Luber and his daughter were leaving a sports bar to attend a college football game in Phoenix. That is when Luber learned that Walker had died instantly at age 40 in a tragic car crash.
Ben Affleck On Playing Batman, And How Not To Accept An Academy Award
By Mike Fleming Jr. – For Playboy’s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. Read More »
For Playboy‘s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. Naturally, the first topic on the menu was his surprise decision to become the latest in a long line of actors to play the Caped Crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. At the time we met, Affleck was watching as the Internet exploded negatively to his Bat-candidacy. Having weathered career hardship before and come back stronger for it, Affleck was unconcerned by the Bat-zealots who actually started online petitions against him.
Related: Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
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BREAKING: Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have found their Wonder Woman. They’ve cast Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot in the iconic role and she will be part of Batman Vs. Superman, the film that will see Henry Cavill square off with Ben Affleck. Gadot has been in three Fast & Furious films, as well as Knight And Day and Date Night. Given that Warner Bros has bolstered its starpower with Affleck and has Cavill returning from the summer hit Man Of Steel, it makes sense to groom new stars in the supporting roles, the way that Marvel has done. All this is clearly gearing toward the long-awaited Justice League film, all based on the DC Comics characters.
Related: Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
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The Clint Eastwood-directed Jersey Boys will hit the big screen on June 20, 2014, and Live By Night, the next movie written and directed by Ben Affleck, will be released on Christmas Day 2015. Warner … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Pearl Street Films has set Will Staples to script an untitled big-scale project that will be developed as a directing and starring vehicle for Ben Affleck. The film is set in Africa, where … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After a heated bidding war, one of the highest-profile comedy packages this season – a half-hour starring comedian Tom Papa that boasts Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as executive producers and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is making a deal with Aaron Stockard to do script work on the Whitey Bulger movie that Ben Affleck plans to direct, with Matt Damon playing New England’s most notorious gangster and a man who has inspired numerous movie and TV bad guys, most recently played by James Woods on the Showtime series Ray Donovan. Affleck and Damon are producing through their Warners-based Pearl Street banner.
The script was originated by Boardwalk Empire creator and writer Terrence Winter, and the hiring of Stockard shows that Affleck and Damon are serious even though there is a rival project, Black Mass, that threatens to go into production first. Stockard worked with Affleck as a writer on his directing vehicles Gone Baby Gone and The Town.
Deadline broke the story on the film in late 2011, and the plan is for Affleck to also co-star along with Damon and his brother Casey Affleck, making it a real Good Will Hunting reunion. Read More »
Ben Affleck told Jimmy Fallon last night he thought he could handle any rough handling after Zack Snyder cast him as Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman vs. Superman pic. “I handle sh*t,” he cracked. Apparently he has rethought his stance:
Did you miss Deadline’s top TV stories of this week? Check them out here now:
Ben Affleck & Glenn Gordon Caron Crime Drama Gets Fox Pilot Order, Affleck To Helm
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: One of the hottest filmmakers, Oscar winner Ben Affleck, and one of the best-regarded series creators, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: One of the hottest filmmakers, Oscar winner Ben Affleck, and one of the best-regarded series creators, Glenn Gordon Caron, have teamed for The Middle Man, a crime drama series. The project, which was taken out last month with five outlets pursuing across broadcast, cable and digital, has landed at Fox with a pilot order. In his TV directing debut, Affleck is set to helm the pilot written by Caron who will serve as showrunner. The two are executive producing through Affleck’s Pearl Street Films, whose Chay Carter will also serve as an executive producer. Like most of Affleck’s movies, The Middle Man, from Fox, Pearl Street and Caron’s Picturemaker Prods., takes place in his native Boston. Described as a classic Boston crime story, it is set in the 1960s and tells the story of Rudy MacAteer, an FBI agent charged with taking down the Italian mafia, and his confidential informant, Irish-American gangster Mickey Flood. MacAteer’s efforts inadvertently give rise to the Irish mob, as he finds himself bending the laws he is governed by.
The Middle Man‘s genesis goes back to the 2009 filming in Boston of Affleck’s The Town when he and Carter met writers Michael Yebba (Ordinary Man) and Emilio Mauro (God Only Knows). An early version of the project was developed but it was moving on a slow track while Affleck was busy with Argo. He and Caron were introduced by WME, which reps both, and Caron came on board this summer. He wrote The Middle Man on spec based on a story he developed with Yebba and Mauro who will serve as co-executive producers on the pilot. Casting is expected to begin immediately, with production slated to begin in early 2014. Read More »
The Dark Knight in the unnamed sequel to Man Of Steel is “kind of tired and weary and seasoned and been doing it for a while,” Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara told investors at the Bank of America … Read More »