Diane Haithman is a Deadline contributor.
This morning members of the press got a first look at the first episode of CBS’ Under The Dome at CBS Studios in Studio City. The heavily promoted 13-episode summer series from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King premieres June 24 at 10 PM. But there also is an interesting story beneath Under: The series, from Lost veteran Brian K. Vaughan (who developed Under The Dome with co-creator Stephen King, whose dystopian novel inspired the show) and executive producer Neal Baer, took a long journey from concept-in-development at Showtime to CBS.
A little history: A few years ago, Vaughan had a meeting at DreamWorks, which had the rights to King’s novel. “They said they were thinking about taking it to Showtime to do an ongoing series,” Vaughan says. “It was in development for a really long time at Showtime and they were terrific. But I think when it came time to pull the trigger, they thought it was not a perfect fit for the direction that Showtime is headed. But [Showtime president] David Nevins thought: ‘This is a terrific script. I’m going to call [CBS entertainment president] Nina Tassler and see if it’s a better fit for CBS.’ ”
Related: Hot TV Teaser: CBS’ ‘Under The Dome’ Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, comic book and Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan has been tapped to pen Showtime’s drama series adaptation of Stephen King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome, from DreamWorks Television. The supernatural thriller revolves around locals at a Maine vacation spot who battle one another when a force field suddenly surrounds their town and cuts them off from the rest of the world. DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider originally secured the rights to King’s novel shortly after it was published in November 2009. The project was set up as a series at Showtime in August when the producers and Showtime launched a search for a writer. Under The Dome is executive produced by King and DreamWorks TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Vaughan is a familiar name for comic book and sci-fi fans. He is best known for writing the comic book series Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways and Pride Of Baghdad and for being a writer on ABC’s popular series Lost during seasons 3-5.
EXCLUSIVE: Drew Pearce has been chosen by Marvel Studios to write Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his signature Tony Stark role, and Marvel recently locked Downey’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang helmer Shane Black to direct. Pearce got the job after writing the script for Runaways, a Marvel project based on the cult comic by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan about children of super villains who try to use their evil powers for heroic purposes. Pearce is the British writer who created the irreverent UK TV series No Heroics, about a bar hangout for superheroes, who aren’t allowed to use their superpowers while drinking. That project had Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist director Pete Sollett attached and seemed on a fast track. It is still at Marvel, but the company is concentrating on its other big superhero franchises first.
Pearce is in talks to jump on one of Marvel’s biggest hits, and I’m told the plan is for him to start from scratch and work closely with Black. Iron Man 3 will be released May 3, 2013 through Disney.
In its first development season since focusing on primetime TV with a first-look deal at Sony TV and the hire of CBS’ Robert Zotnowski as TV head, Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen’s Stars Road Entertainment has sold 3 hourlong projects to 3 networks, Fox, ABC and CBS.
While the company plans to develop across all TV, the the primary focus leading into its first year “was to find early success (on broadcast),” said Zotnowski, who was SVP drama at CBS, co-heading the network’s drama department before he left in August 2009 to join Stars Road. The auspices involved in the company’s 3 series projects, all produced by Sony TV, represent a mix of existing relationships Zotnowski has with TV writers and feature and comic book talent brought in by Raimi.
The ABC project hails from Dee Johnson, with whom Zotnowski worked on The Good Wife. Last year, Johnson served as executive producer/showrunner on the first 13 episodes of the CBS legal drama. The new project centers on a top female prosecutor in Los Angeles, whom Zotnowski describes as a “female vigilante with a law license.”
The Fox project, Smokers, comes from comic book and TV writer Brian K. Vaughan, best known for creating the comic book series Y: The Last Man, and for his work as a writer on ABC’s Lost. The high-concept drama, based on an original idea by Vaughan, is about a documentary crew following working class heroes who exterminate alien threats in deep space.
The third project, set at Zotnowski’s former … Read More »
Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.
Warcraft. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far). The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
… Read More »