Raise your hand if you remember this 2004 flick in which Ashton Kutcher suffered trauma-induced blackouts. Well, a new lawsuit says Benderspink was blacked out from profits generated by The Butterfly Effect, and the company wants its share. The suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here) names defendants including production companies FilmEngine Entertainment, Roulette Entertainment and Highwire Films along with Anthony Rhulen, who it names as president and/or CEO of all three. Benderspink says it had a deal for 50% of the movie’s theatrical and ancillary profits but for years was told the pic remained in the red. Then in 2012, “Benderspink learned from a third party that Defendants had completed an audit of the Picture’s distributor [New Line, which is not named in the suit] and received a substantial payment” that put Butterfly Effect in the black. The suit says the plaintiffs “contacted Defendants and requested a profit participation report and payment of all monies owed to it. For more than one year, Defendants stonewalled Benderspink’s numerous requests.” In January, the suit claims, Benderspink received its first participation statement on the film, which the company describes as “a one-page top sheet that indicated the Picture was not profitable.” The suit adds that the company has sought access to the defendants’ pertinent books and records and that “these requests have been ignored by Defendants.”
EXCLUSIVE: After Nazis-from-the-moon pic Iron Sky in 2012, and creature feature Big Ass Spider last year, could this be Berlin’s 2014 hot crossover “genre”? I’m a girl, and Deadline readers are not dupes, so I’m not going to make too many pointed references as to why Zombeavers might catch on in a kitschy fashion. What I will say is that the horror/comedy hails from Benderspink, Armory Films and Evan Astrowsky and that Big Ass Spider‘s Epic Pictures Group is spreading the film out to buyers at the EFM. In it, a group of college kids at a riverside cabin are menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers. The film is helmed by first-time director Jordan Rubin from a script he wrote with brothers Jon and Al Kaplan. Rubin also wrote the opening film for the 2011 Academy Awards and recently completed an animated pilot starring Mike Tyson that was just picked up by Adult Swim. He says, “This may very well be the most important film you will ever see about zombie beavers.” Judge for yourself:
EXCLUSIVE: We’re The Millers producer Benderspink has teamed with Macmillan Films to develop the science fiction novel Day One by Nate Kenyon. Dean Loftis will write the script. Set in the near future, the book details a journalist’s attempt to escape New York to rescue his pregnant wife and young son during the chaotic first 24 hours of a sentient computer takeover. The book was published earlier this month by the St. Martin’s Press imprint Thomas Dunne Books. Brendan Deneen and Peter Joseph will produce for Macmillan Films. That is a division of Macmillan Publishers which has set up book projects at MGM, Legendary Pictures, Sony TV and The Weinstein Company. Aside from We’re The Millers, Benderspink is also producer on the Universal Ice Cube-Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along.
EXCLUSIVE: The production companies Benderspink and Broken Road have teamed to make a rights deal with the Middle Ages-centric Medieval Times. Their aim is to take the branded dinner and tournament venue and get medieval on turning it into a feature film property. They’re putting together a package to shop to studios. Medieval Times has hosted over 53 million visitors to date in nine locations. Each event pits six knights in jousting tournaments and swordfighting competitions for the title of King’s Champion. Each location is housed in a replica 11th-century Spanish castle and features 30 horses and 75 actors. They celebrate 30 years of business this December. The chain was seen in The Cable Guy and Garden State. Benderspink has The Hangover Part III and We’re The Millers coming this summer. Broken Road’s Todd Garner is in post on Black Sky for New Line, and he also recently sold Tag, which now has Will Ferrell and Jack Black attached.
Benderspink (Kyle XY) has inked a new first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. The pact, which ends May 31, 2014, extends Benderspink’s relationship with CBS TV Studios where the company has been since 2008. Under the new pact, Benderspink has brought in Elisa Oliveras as TV executive. She succeeds Alex Kerr, who is now at Universal Cable Prods. Oliveras most recently headed TV development at Pine Street Entertainment, Mark Pedowitz’s Warner Bros. TV-based company before he joined the CW as president. Prior to that, she did stints in development and current programming at NBC, UPN and ABC. On the feature side, WME-repped Benderspink has had a first-look deal at New Line for well over a decade. Its upcoming movies include New Line’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and We’re The Millers, which the company produces, and Warner Bros.’ Hangover 3 and Universal’s Ride Along, which they executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is buying Agatha, spec screenplay written by Allison Schroeder which has Will Gluck attached to direct. Disruption Entertainment’s Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are producing with Benderspink’s Chris Bender, Jake Weiner, and JC Spink.
Spec is an action adventure which surmises what really happened to Agatha Christie during the 11 days she went missing. Plot specifics are being kept under wraps but tonally it is described as a female Sherlock Holmes meets Romancing The Stone. Schroeder previously wrote a Mean Girls sequel and was a writer for CW’s Beverly Hills 90210. Will Gluck is currently rewriting Annie to direct for Sony. Both Gluck and Schroeder are repped by UTA and Schroeder is also repped by Benderspink and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Benderspink just produced The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Hangover Part III, We’re The Millers and Ride Along. Par’s David Beaubaire brought in the spec.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has picked up the spec script Somacell from first time writer Ashleigh Powell. The Dark Knight/Man Of Steel co-writer David S. Goyer will produce the dystopia thriller. Somacell chronicles a female prison guard in the near future who discovers that the virtual reality process that rehabilitates convicts is not all it promises to be. The deal with the studio was in the mid-six figures, Deadline has learned. Ashleigh Powell is represented by Bob Hohman, Bayard Maybank, Devra Lieb, JR Satery of the Gersh Agency, Daniel Vang and Jake Weiner of Benderspink and attorney Eric Feig.
Jake Wagner has moved to Benderspink, where he will head up the company’s management division. He brings with him lit clients such as Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman), John Swetnam (Category 6), Andrew Knauer (Last Stand), Chris Denham (Home Movie), Micah Barnett (The Rabbit), John Sullivan (Science Fair), Tripper Clancy (Henry The Second), Lucas Sussman (The Hunt), Chris Roach/John Richardson (Non Stop), and Ethan Maniquis (Machete). He also brings actor Greg Finley (Secret Life Of The American Teenager). Partners JC Spink, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner called Wagner “one of the brightest young managers out there.” He’d been at FilmEngine.
Management/production companies looking for the next sale-able script, it might be right under your nose. Benderspink director of development Christopher Cosmos just sold his first feature script, The Fall, to Bill Block’s QED International. Benderspink will be attached as a producer, and the company now packaging Alexander, a TV pilot Cosmos wrote about the formative years of Alexander The Great. The Fall is a modern take on The Odyssey, about a young man who makes his way cross country carrying with him the cure for a devastating plague. He’s hunted by men who want the cure for himself. Cosmos continues to work at Benderspink, for now at least.
Management-production companies Caliber Media Co and Benderspink have teamed with Simplicity Media to launch an experimental feature film and social media project. Called Bloodloss, the concept is to stage a full-scale production within the modern-day subculture of “sanguine vampires”, a close-knit community with a spiritual obsession to drink human blood to maintain physical health. The feature narrative will be constructed from pseudo-documentary scenes using a combination of actors and true participants in this lifestyle (both human vampires and their blood donors) shot in real vampire-fetish nightclubs. A social media campaign of status updates, blog entries, and video posts will allow viewers to receive daily updates on Bloodloss, while being directly engaged with each character and their experience in this dark world.
Benderspink has teamed up with Roddenberry Entertainment to co-develop the critically-acclaimed graphic novel series, Days Missing, for television and film. This will mark the first Roddenberry property to find its way to the big screen since J.J. Abrahms’ Star Trek and the first TV show based on a Roddenberry property since Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and Star Trek: Enterprise.
“We see this as such a strong concept that it could be done as a television show and feature trilogy at the same time,” says JC Spink, Co-Founder of Benderspink. “And, we’re extremely excited to work with Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.”
“Benderspink is a team of creative professionals who really understand Roddenberry’s brand of science fiction and the potential of this property,” said Trevor Roth, Days Missing creator and head of development for Roddenberry Entertainment. “This partnership plans on doing more than just adapting a comic book story—we want to use television and film to expand the Days Missing universe.”
The film will be produced by Benderspink and Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.
Days Missing® is an accounting of extraordinary 24-hour periods of time that have changed the course of humanity’s evolution, but have been erased from human memory by a mystical and ancient being known as The Steward. These “days missing,” recorded in the annals of The Steward’s library, represent a lost human history that explains much more about who we are than we ever knew.
“Days Missing is another wonderful example of the kind …
EXCLUSIVE: Benderspink and Sean Patrick O’Reilly’s Arcana Comics are launching ArcanaBenderspink Comics, a label that will publish under the Arcana brand. The idea: hatch comics that can be turned into movie and TV properties. The partnership comes out of JC Spink and Sean O’Reilly’s strong relationship after setting up the Arcana comic book Continuum at New Line. “What I thought made this a great partnership was that Sean not only knows how to make a great comic but he’s actually produced movies,” Spink said. “I don’t know any comic publishers that have his producing experience.” Benderspink partner Jake Weiner said that the comics label is a byproduct of the company’s increased focus on generating intellectual properties. “This is one of five IP creation deals we are entering into along with deals in mobile content/apps, Y/A publishing, videogames, and toys.”
Benderspink has optioned Turf, the Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards creation published by Image Comics. Set in the 1920s Prohibition Era New York, the comic blends gangsters with vampires and aliens fighting for turf. Ross is the often controversial radio and TV host in Britain, and Edwards has created artwork on titles including Hellboy, Daredevil and concept art for films like The Book Of Eli. Benderspink is producing the Steve Carell-Jim Carrey comedy Burt Wonderstone and The Last Man at New Line, and Undying Love at Warner Bros. WME repped the sale.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Paramount Pictures has acquired The Mighty, a graphic novel published by DC Comics. Mary Parent’s Paramount-based Disruption Entertainment will produce. Parent and Cale Boyter will produce with Benderspink’s JC Spink. While DC product usually goes through Warner Bros, this one had rights that were controlled by the creators, Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne. The artist is Peter Snejberg. In The Mighty, they’ve come up with a nifty take on the superhero genre. The protagonist is mortal, a tough cop. He hunts a villain who is the superhero and must overcome the obvious disadvantages of going up against someone with superpowers. It’s too early to get confirmation from the studio, but I’ll add more when I have it.
Updated logline: The Mighty tells the story of Alpha-One, the world’s most powerful super-being, who has always been a force for good, but Gabriel Cole, a cop who’s life was saved by Alpha One as a child, has uncovered his hero’s dark plan that will put them on a collision course of an ordinary man versus a super-man. Tomasi currently writes the DC Comics for Batman And Robin, Green Lantern Corps, and co-writes Brightest Day with Geoff Johns. Tomasi has also written the creator-owned comic The Light Brigade, and Champagne is the author of the creator-owned comic Armor-X.
EXCLUSIVE: Jill McElroy is joining Management 360 as a literary manager from Benderspink where she was a manager and producer for over a decade. Joining her are writing clients including John Hlavin, Karl Gajdusek, Andrea Berloff, Kyle Ward, Stacey Harman, Marc Haimes, Tom Smuts, among others. Many of her clients had worked with Management 360, and I hear that’s how the relationship started.
Verve has signed John Collee, the Australian writer whose credits include Master & Commander, Happy Feet, Creation and Legend of the Guardians. Collee had been at CAA. He is currently scripting Walk with the Dinosaurs, the animated that that IM Global recently sold to Fox for $65 million at AFM. Collee is also repped by Kaplan Perrone and The Agency Group.
Verve also signed Karl Gadjusek, who has written on The Mechanic and the upcoming Unknown and Trespass. He most recently rewrote The Best and the Brightest (Unman) for Paramount and Montecito, a remake of the 1971 John Mackenzie film. Gadjusek continues to be managed by Benderspink.
Benderspink (Kyle XY) has inked a new first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, the company has set up two multi-camera comedy projects at CBS: Second Wind and an untitled half-hour from writer Jonathan Goldstein (The New Adventures of Old Christine).
Second Wind, written by Dean Craig (Death at a Funeral) and Sam Liefer, is a buddy comedy about two divorced male friends who have different perspectives on single life. The untitled Jonathan Goldstein sitcom centers on an idealistic newlywed who must go to work for his business tycoon father-in-law. Both have received script commitments. Additionally, Benderspink has an adaptation of Hannah Seligson’s book A Little Bit Married set up at the studio with writer Theresa Mulligan (How I Met Your Mother).
Before signing with CBS Studios in 2008, UTA-repped Benderspink, whose TV department is run by former UTA agent-turned-executive Alex Kerr, had a first-look deal with Fox21.
On the feature side, the company has had a first-look deal at New Line for more than a decade. Its credits include A History of Violence and the Ring franchise as well as the upcoming Arthur remake for Warner Bros. and I Am Number IV for DreamWorks.