EXCLUSIVE: Romantic comedy The Escort has found its lead in Lyndsy Fonseca, the Kick-Ass actress who’s coming off a four-season run on The CW’s Nikita. Pic tracks a sex-obsessed journalist (Michael Doneger) who throws himself into the world of high class escorts when he starts following a Stanford-educated prostitute. Will Slocombe (Cold Turkey, Crime Fiction) is directing from a script by Doneger and Brandon A. Cohen, with Doneger, Bruce Campbell, Tommy Dewey, Rumer Willis, Rachel Resheff, and Sonya Walger rounding out the cast.
Culver City, CA (November 30, 2011) – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) and FilmDistrict have partnered with Ghost House Pictures on a worldwide deal—excluding U.K. and France —for Sony Pictures to distribute the remake of Evil Dead. The announcement was made by Steven Bersch, SPWA President, and Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict. Lia Buman, FilmDistrict’s EVP of Acquisitions, will oversee the project.
Original producing partners Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell (who also starred in the original franchise) and Sam Raimi will produce. Ghost House Pictures partners Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Nicole Brown and J.R. Young will oversee the project for Ghost House.
Rob Tapert stated, “For 30 years, Sam, Bruce and I have been looking for the right home where we could return the deadites to the big screen. Amy Pascal and Jeff Blake at Sony and Peter Schlessel at FilmDistrict have always been incredible partners who share our passion for great storytelling as well as our obsession for scaring the pants off the audience. Together, we are looking forward to terrorizing a whole new generation.”
Added Schlessel, “I have been part of the extended Ghost House family for a long time. It’s fantastic to continue the relationship as we bring this classic horror film to a new generation of fans.”
“Sony Pictures has a fantastic history collaborating with both Ghost House and Film District and we couldn’t be more excited to continue working together
Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell are readying to remake their cult horror hit The Evil Dead, tapping Fede Alvarez to write and direct the redo and putting the project on the fast track via Raimi, Tapert and Nathan Kahane’s Ghost House Pictures. Alvarez, who came to the producers’ attention via his short film Panic Attack, penned the script with Rodo Sayagues, and scribe Diablo Cody is doing revisions on the latest draft. In the original 1981 film that starred Campbell, five friends at a remote cabin in the woods unknowingly summon demons from an ancient civilization, causing all sorts of bloody and gory problems. The movie spawned a pair of sequels: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Raimi, Tapert and Campbell, the original film’s producers, will produce the new incarnation, and Ghost House partners Kahane and Joe Drake will executive produce. Nicole Brown and J.R. Young will oversee the project for Ghost House. Lionsgate will handle international sales on the film. Two things come to mind: The in-camera special effects were the best parts of the original, so it will be interesting to see how modern VFX will be utilized. Also, the news that Juno scribe Cody is on the case is interesting, though she does have a horror film under her belt having penned the Megan Fox-starrer Jennifer’s Body, which didn’t do much at the box office. Stay tuned on both fronts.
Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan has joined Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, playing Hoover’s rival Robert F. Kennedy in the Warner Bros. film. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the manipulative FBI chief. Besides the distinction of being asked back into a film by Eastwood (Donovan previously played a ruthless cop alongside Angelina Jolie in Changeling), Donovan grew up just outside of Boston in Amesbury, Mass., so playing RFK is a highlight for him. Production on the film has already begun, but Donovan will shoot his scenes next week. He just directed Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, a prequel telepic that airs April 17, and he starts production on the fifth season of the USA Network series March 21. He’s repped by Paradigm.
EXCLUSIVE: USA has given a formal green light to the Burn Notice movie prequel starring Bruce Campbell, which will be directed by Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan. The two will also executive produce with Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, who wrote the movie, and the series exec producer Mikkel Bondesen. The untitled two-hour film, which was announced at this year’s Comic-Con, will begin shooting in January on location in Bogota, Columbia for a premiere in Spring 2011. Burn Notice has wrapped production on Season 4, and filming on Season 5 is slated to begin shortly after the movie finishes shooting.
Here are more details about the Fox TV Studios-produced prequel. It is set in late 2005 and focuses on Sam Axe’s (Campbell) last mission as a Navy SEAL. It begins after a faction of Colombian rebels makes trouble for the locally stationed military platoon, with Lieutenant Commander Axe (APA-repped Campbell) being sent down to investigate. As the mission unfolds, Sam begins to uncover the dark secrets of the area, learning the truth about sacrifice, deception, and ultimately what’s worth fighting for.
The idea to do a Campbell-centered Burn Notice movie offshoot originated a year and a half ago when Burn Notice made its Comic-Con debut. “We saw Bruce Campbell as the Bruce Springsteen of Comic Con,” USA’s president of original programming Jeff Wachtel said. “We saw the spectacular explosive fan reaction and realized that, in Bruce, we had not only a …
Former Fox executive Lee Bartlett, who ran ITV’s production arm for the past 2 years until recently stepping down, is back in the U.S., joining Discovery Communications as EVP global production management, business and legal affairs. He will report to COO Peter Liguori, reuniting with his former boss. Bartlett first worked with Liguori at Fox Cable Networks when Liguori oversaw FX. Liguori then brought Bartlett over to Fox when he took over the network. Bartlett served as EVP business affairs until 2008 when he left for ITV. Bartlett will join Discovery on Sept. 1 and will be based in Los Angeles, while also maintaining offices in Discovery’s Silver Spring, Md., and London locations.
Meanwhile, Bruce Campbell, formerly president of digital media and corporate development at Discovery, has been named chief development officer and general counsel. He assumes the general counsel role from Joe LaSala, who will leave the company at the end of 2010. Campbell will continue to have responsibilities for global business development for Discovery and report to President and CEO David Zaslav. He will be based in Silver Spring and New York City.
If you’re developing a prequel to your hit series Burn Notice built around Comic-Con fave Bruce Campbell, what better place to announce the plan than Comic-Con! That’s exactly what Jeff Wachtel, USA Network’s president of original programming, did at the Burn Notice panel today. The prequel is being developed as an original movie, not a series, and will focus on Sam Axe’s (Campbell) military past. I loved Campbell’s reaction to the news as reported by audience members. “What do I have to say about that? I have to say that USA finally got their s**t together.” Classic!