During one of a zillion press junket interviews for Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr was asked who he’d like to direct him in Pinocchio, after Tim Burton fell out. Downey said it would be his Tropic Thunder accomplice Ben Stiller. That got a lot of press play. The pair talked about it briefly at CinemaCon, where Stiller’s teaser reel for The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty got a rousing response from exhibitors. So guess what? Now, Stiller is in talks with Warner Bros to helm the film. No negotiations yet, but they have gone as far as starting discussions with writers for the film that Downey and his wife Susan Downey will produce under their Team Downey banner. Downey, who would play Geppetto, wants to change the direction of the film creatively from what he and Burton had originally conceived. The studio likes the new take. Dan Jinks is producing with Team Downey.
Hollywood’s Proud Past Lives Again This Week With AFI, TCM Classic Film Festival And Danny Kaye Centennial
In Hollywood they say ‘everything old is new again’ and that has never been more true this week than with a massive celebration of classic films and stars. There is tonight’s AFI Night At The Movies with 13 classic titles (including Best Picture winners like In The Heat Of The Night and Terms Of Endearment) taking up every screen at Hollywood’s Arclight Theatre complete with in-person introductions from their original stars (Shirley MacLaine, Cher, Sidney Poitier, Sally Field and Harrison Ford among them). There is a year-long centennial celebration of the great Danny Kaye and a reminder of his talent at year’s end with the Fox remake of a Kaye classic, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. And starting Thursday with the World Premiere restoration of Funny Girl, the 4th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival kicks off its four day run in Hollywood.
Even as competing fests this week at Tribeca and in San Francisco try to steal the spotlight for new films from a new generation, The Turner Classic Movies fest has become a big deal focusing on the past. And not only for the network, but as a signature event where studios can show off new digital restorations of classic films with the same hoopla that might have accompanied their original premieres. Though its stars Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif won’t be attending the Funny Girl restoration’s premiere at the Chinese Theatre tomorrow night (Sharif is in Europe; Streisand is sending a statement to be read by TCM host Robert Osborne) many vintage stars including festival honorees like Eva Marie Saint, Ann Blyth, Max Von Sydow and numerous others are expected to walk the red carpet. Competing for attention across the street at the Hollywood Roosevelt Pool will be TCM’s pristine digital presentation of 1958′s South Pacific with stars Mitzi Gaynor and France Nuyen on hand. TCM’s longtime talent exec, Darcy Hettrich has the herculean task of turning out all the great stars of Hollywood’s past that keep these fans buzzing.
Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Sells 2 Guy-Centered Family Comedies To ABC, Including One Written By And Starring Michael Ian Black
Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Television has scored two more sales in its maiden development season for comedies You’re Not Doing It Right and Between Two Kings. Both have been set up at ABC with a script commitment through ABC Studios, where Red Hour is under a deal, and are executive produced by Stiller, Red Hour TV’s Debbie Liebling and Stuart Cornfeld.
Single-camera You’re Not Doing It Right is starring and written by Michael Ian Black who is also executive producing with his manager Ted Schachter. Based on Black’s book and set “in the wilds of Connecticut,” the show is described as a comedy about modern marriage and parenting and takes a hard look at what happens when you wake up, look around, and don’t recognize the life you are living as your own. Black is repped by UTA.
Between Two Kings is written/executive produced by Jeff Kahn. It centers on a divorced and devoted father with sole custody of his 11-year-old son who moves into his narcissistic father’s house to care for his ailing dad and finds himself torn between the constant needs of both his self-centered father and his demanding son. Kahn is repped by WME and Andy Cohen at Grade A Entertainment.
“Of course we are all here for one reason, and that’s because Deadline Hollywood might tweet a link to a write-up about this and we all might get mentioned,” Ben Stiller joked in his very funny acceptance speech as the recipient of the 26th annual American Cinematheque Award on Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton. Friends and co-stars including Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Laura Dern, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor among others offered tributes to the star-writer-director-producer-humanitarian the Cinematheque’s chairman Rick Nicita called a “Renaissance man of comedy” — to which Stiller said later, “I didn’t know you could be a Renaissance man of just one thing. It’s like being a jack-of-all-trades of carpentry.” But judging from the numerous clips and in-person tributes, he is about much more than just “one thing”.
Jack Black, Patton Oswalt, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell and Jeffrey Katzenberg will lend support as live presenters. Ben Stiller receives the American Cinematheque Award at the organization’s November 15 gala at the Beverly Hilton. The star of the upcoming The Secret Life of …
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller is teaming with another comedy multihyphenate, Bonnie Hunt, for a comedy project at ABC that will star the comedienne. Hunt will write the half-hour, titled compliKATEd, with her writing partner and frequent collaborator Don Lake. The ensemble comedy centers on Kate (Hunt), a confidently insecure woman with a complicated life. It is produced by Stiller’s Red Hour Television, Hunt’s Bob & Alice Prods and ABC Studios, where Red Hour TV is under an overall deal. Hunt and Lake will executive produce with Red Hour TV’s Stiller, Debbie Liebling and Stuart Cornfeld.
Yahoo today launched a new online-only satirical series executive produced by Ben Stiller. Written by Erica Oyama, Burning Love is a spoof of that horrendous show The Bachelor and features a bunch of well-known actors like Kristen Bell, Ken Jeong, Malin Akerman, and Michael Ian Black as well as Stiller himself (briefly) …
Here’s 20th Century Fox‘s red-band trailer for the retitled alien invasion comedy The Watch. Fox abandoned its original marketing scheme for the formerly titled Neighborhood Watch to avoid any unintended association with the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin tragedy in Florida. The R-rated comedy concerns a group of suburban men who form …
With the first two grossing more than $1.1 billion worldwide, it’s a cinch we were going to see more of these guys. This time they travel through Europe with a circus. Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer return, with Frances …
Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films is making a major move in television, signing an overall deal with ABC Studios and bringing in veteran film and TV executive Debbie Liebling to run the company’s TV division, Red Hour Television. Under the pact, which will run through May 31, 2013, with an option for another year, Red Hour TV will develop and produce comedy and drama projects for ABC Studios. At the studio, Red Hour joins such pods as Mark Gordon Prods, Shondaland and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld’s Red Hour has ventured in TV before, co-producing several comedy pilots — including an untitled half-hour starring Stiller’s wife, actress Christine Taylor, at CBS; The Station at Fox; and, most recently, Justin Theroux’s Documental at HBO. But now the company is launching a dedicated TV division with Liebling at the helm. “Debbie is an incredibly talented executive,” said Stiller, who started in television as an actor on Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show. “I am hoping she helps us get a show on the air that is culturally relevant, groundbreaking, and doesn’t get canceled after 12 episodes. If she does that, I will consider the deal a major success.”
Liebling has experience in developing long-running series — she was Chief Development and Production Executive for Comedy Central for seven years, where she developed South Park. Other series she shepherded there include The Man Show, Win Ben Stein’s Money, Battlebots and Primetime Glick. Liebling most recently served as President of Production at Universal Pictures until May, when she exited as part of a department restructuring. At Universal, she oversaw the development and production of Bridesmaids, The Change-Up and Tower Heist, among others. She was previously President of Fox Atomic Pictures and spent five years as EVP Production for 20th Century Fox Films, where she was responsible for such films as Borat and the Stiller-starring Dodgeball, which he also produced. “I have known and worked with Ben over the years and always been in awe of his work ethic and standards and great taste,” Liebling said.