CBS Films is moving aggressively on a sequel to its biggest-grossing film Last Vegas. David Diamond & David Weissman have been hired to write the second installment of the AARP comedy. The intent is to bring back director Jon Turteltaub, and the film’s stars Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. The sequel will focus on the quartet’s return to their old stomping grounds in Brooklyn. They discover that borough has changed more than a little since the four grew up there.
Laurence Mark and Amy Baer will be returning as producers. Scripted by Dan Fogelman, Last Vegas was a true sleeper, hitting an underserved demographic and enjoying a long theatrical run. The film topped out at $134 million in global grosses, including $63 million domestic, and has been a strong performer on home video and VOD.
Diamond & Weissman’s scripts include The Family Man, Evolution, Old Dogs, and When In Rome. The scribes are repped by WME.
CBS Films insiders confirm that about three weeks ago, CBS Films co-president Wolfgang Hammer quietly segued to become a consultant focusing on digital content. Among the youngest production presidents of a major company ever, Hammer ran the film division with Terry Press, who is alone at the top. Under Hammer, Les Moonves’s boutique film label went from an original mission to create homegrown films, and became a significant player in the acquisitions game in the last few years while the original productions percolated, often with good results. Last Vegas, a homegrown film, was a sleeper hit, and the label made its highest profile acquisition when it paid $4 million for Inside Llewyn Davis. That movie didn’t garner Oscar love in the major categories after the prestige folk music film got a rousing reaction at Cannes last year and won the Grand Prix, but it got CBS Films its first ever Oscar noms and Golden Globes, and grossed just north of $13 million domestic. That number could have been higher had Oscar voters embraced it more fully, the way critics did. The label has made other big festival buys including the Toronto acquisition Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to put itself on the map.
The label has What If opening in August, Pride in September and just wrapped the teen comedy The Duff for a February opening. One potential gem it hasn’t been able to get into production is the series of bestselling novels by author Vince Flynn featuring counter terrorism operative … Read More »
UPDATE: Looks like I was premature in describing this as a sex tape movie. CBS Films informs me that yeah, there is a tape that circulates from a bachelor party that is the propulsion for the guys going to wilderness camp. But the guys in it keep their clothes on and merely act like complete doofuses and off they go to learn some street smarts. So the sex tape analogy has no staying power. Sorry about that.
EARLIER: While the rest of us will wait till the weekend climaxes to see if the Sony Pictures comedy Sex Tape measures up, others seem sold on the concept. CBS Films ends the week acquiring Man Up, a comedy that has Zac Levi attached to star and Hall Pass scribes Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett writing. The log line: after a video of a disastrous and embarrassing bachelor party goes viral, four metro-sexual guys decide to go to survival camp and learn how to man up. Pic’s based on an idea by Levi.
Nicky Weinstock is producing with Levi. Invention Films’ Whitney Thomas will be exec producer. Levi recently starred in Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakwel, lent his voice to Tangled, and was seen in Thor: The Dark World. CAA and Peter Principato rep Levi, Pappas and Barnett are at CAA with Jeff Okin at Anonymous.
CBS Films has closed a U.S. rights deal for Pride, the comedy that premiered at Cannes. CBS Films has skedded the film to open September 19. Directed by Tony-winning God of Carnage helmer Matthew Warchus from a screenplay by Stephen Beresford, the film takes place summer of 1984, when Margaret Thatcher went head to head against the striking National Union of Mineworkers. That prompted a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. David Livingstone produced with Cameron McCracken, and Christine Langan and Natascha Wharton are exec producers. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, Joseph Gilgun, George MacKay and Ben Schnetzer star. Pathé is distributing the film in the UK and France and Pathe International has sold the film throughout the rest of the world. McCracken, the Managing Director of Pathe Productions, brokered the deal with Deputy Managing Director Pierre du Plessis, and Scott Shooman handled the deal for CBS Films.
CBS Films said it has secured rights to the trilogy of Atlantis sci-fi novels by A.G. Riddle, a serious deal for a self-published series that has been a fixture on Amazon‘s eBook sales charts. The first book in the series, The Atlantis Gene, was published in March 2013, and the plot revolves around a brilliant geneticist and an international counterterrorism agent who team to thwart a global pandemic and solve the greatest mystery of all time: the truth behind the origins of humanity. The Atlantis Plague followed in November 2013, and last month came The Atlantis World; the first and third books are currently in the Amazon eBook Top 12 in the sci-fi/fantasy category. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has added Allison Janney and Romany Malco to join Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels, Nick Eversman and Ken Jeong in The Duff, an adaptation of the Kody Keplinger novel that Ari Sandel will direct from a script by Josh Cagan. McG, Mary Viola, and Susan Cartsonis are producing with Lane Bishop exec producing. Pic will shoot in the summer.
Whitman plays a happy high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as The Duff, meaning designated ugly fat friend to her pretty, popular friends. She enlists a jock pal (Amell) to help reinvent herself and overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker (Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s Duff. Jeong plays her favorite teacher. Janney plays the girl’s mother while Malco plays the school’s overwhelmed principal.
VP Production Mark Ross and creative executive Alex Ginno are overseeing the project.
CBS Films acquired Daniel Radcliffe romantic comedy What If back in Toronto when it was still going by the title The F Word. The Michael Dowse-directed pic was one of the major buzz acquisition titles at the festival and is getting a U.S. release on August 1. Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play star-crossed lovers who meet as he’s recovering from a failed relationship and she’s involved with a serious boyfriend. The two then attempt the challenge of merely being friends. Elan Mastai wrote the script. Adam Driver, Rafe Spall, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park and Oona Chaplin co-star. At present, What If is slated for a handful of international markets, including the UK on August 22.
Parenthood‘s Mae Whitman is in negotiations to lead CBS Films comedy The DUFF, adapted from Kody Keplinger’s coming-of-age novel. She’ll star as Bianca, a 17-year-old girl who deals with the ignominy of being labeled the “designated ugly fat friend” of her social group by leading her fellow DUFFs in a scheme to overthrow the school’s evil queen, Madison. McG is producing via his Wonderland Sound and Vision banner alongside Mary Viola and Lane Shefter. CBS Films’ Alex Ginno and VP of Production Mark Ross are overseeing for the studio. Ari Sandel, who won an Oscar for the 2007 live-action short West Bank Story, is directing with filming set to begin this summer in Atlanta. Bandslam‘s Josh Cagan wrote the screenplay. Whitman is best known for playing Ann Veal on Arrested Development and most recently appeared on the big screen in The Perks of Being A Wallflower. She’s repped by ICM.
The Michael Dowse-directed What If was formerly known as The F Word when CBS Films acquired one of the buzzier titles from last fall’s Toronto Film Festival in a big deal. The pic will now be released August 1, 2014 in NY and LA before expanding the following two weekends. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star as a star-crossed couple who meet by chance at a party and feel chemistry. But he is recovering from a failed relationship and she has a serious boyfriend (Rafe Spall), so they attempt to confront the challenge of merely being friends. Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park and Oona Chaplin co-star. Elan Mastai wrote the script. That August 1 date is getting crowded: the wide openers set for that Friday are Disney’s Guardians Of The Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up.
CBS Films’ mirco-budget horror pic Afflicted played well at last year’s Fantastic Fest and Toronto and is getting an April 4 limited release along with a VOD bow. It centers on a pair of buddies (Clif Prowse and Derek Lee, who also wrote and directed) who plan to document their around-the-world trip. But things go wrong after one of them hooks up with a mysterious woman in Paris and begins to change. It’s a cool twist on the found-footage genre, which continues to have plenty of legs thanks to the relatively low exposure for studios. Check it out:
The 56 member-strong National Society of Film Critics today helped CBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis bounce back from its PGA and WGA snubs, awarding the 1960s-set folk music drama Best Picture, Best Director for Joel and Ethan Coen, Best Actor for Oscar Isaac‘s turn as the eponymous singer-songwriter, and Best Cinematography. The boost came the same day CBS took out a full-page For Your Consideration ad in the New York Times pulling a select portion of this Dec. 30 Tweet by NYT critic A.O. Scott: “I’m gonna listen to the Llewyn Davis album again. Fare thee well, my honeys.” Whatever works? Scroll down for full NSFC awards: Read More »
In March the CBS chief predicted that “within a year” it would be an industry standard for advertisers to pay for the number of viewers who see commercials within a week after they air (called C7), up from three days (or C3). But Leslie Moonves seemed less certain today when he spoke to the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. In next year’s upfront “there’s going to be a lot more C7″ — though it may not be the industry standard. (Earlier today Disney’s Jay Rasulo said it will take longer for the change to take hold.) “I don’t think it’s that hugely significant. … Eventually it’s going to be even greater than C7″ — perhaps going as high as C30. “We may not get paid as much, but you’re selling Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, what’s the difference if you watch now or 22 days from now?” Speaking of the ad market, he says that scatter sales are “fine.” National is “stronger than local, but local is OK.”
Related: Moonves Wants Advertisers To Pay For Live-Plus-30-Days Viewing Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has sprung for a pitch from Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, who wrote the last four Saw films, to adapt Alvin Schwartz’s classic spooky tale collection Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I’m told it was a competitive bidding for the project, which will see Melton and Dunstan adapt some of the Scary short stories into a screenplay about a group of outcast kids who stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Sean Daniel Company and Elizabeth Grave of 1212 Entertainment will produce, with Roberto Grande and Joshua Long exec producing. SDC and 1212 initially optioned rights before teaming up with Melton and Dunstan, who are repped by WME and Trevor Engelson at Underground. VP Mark Ross and Creative Executive Alex Ginno are overseeing the project for CBS Films.
Schwartz collected the Scary Stories tales from folklore and urban legend. The three-book children’s series, which has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, began with 1981′s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and continued with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). Scribes Melton and Dunstan got their start in horror but also recently wrote on Pacific Rim and were tapped to pen Disney’s Stuff of Legend, … Read More »
CBS Films has acquired screen rights to The Husband’s Secret, the Liane Moriarty novel that was published in July by Amy Einhorn Books and hit the bestseller lists. The novel follows three different women whose lives are plunged into crises after one of the women opens a Pandora’s Box that ties all three women together in ways no one could have suspected. “This is a book that is being read and passed on to friends by women of all ages,” said CBS Films co-president Terry Press. “The characters and story have evoked strong critical and reader reactions and we are thrilled to translate that to the big screen.” IPG and Curtis Brown Australia repped by he book. CBS exec Winnie Kemp is overseeing.
EXCLUSIVE: We are just about done with the jockeying that places Oscar-bait films in prime slots at prestige festivals. Here’s one to keep an eye on: I’m hearing that the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis will be the AFI Fest‘s Closing Night Gala on Thursday, November 14. The movie, which stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake, won the Grand Prix when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. The film was also just set for a slot at the New York Film Festival before CBS Films releases it starting December 6. It follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. I saw it at Cannes and like the best Coen Brothers efforts, it is funny and moving in the most unexpected places and is a real breakout vehicle for Isaac as the folk singer hoping he’s good enough to be a leading voice in a burgeoning musical movement. The music is rich, and it’s the fourth collaboration that Coens have had with Oscar-winning music producer T Bone Burnett.
Related: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Folk Concert Set
Here’s the most recent trailer: Read More »
CBS Films is releasing Joel and Ethan Coen’s take on the 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene in the Oscar-season wheelhouse December 6. Oscar Isaac stars with Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedland and Justin Timberlake. Here’s the newest trailer:
The Avett Brothers, Joan Baez, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings and Jack White are among the acts set to perform at Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating The Music Of “Inside Llewyn Davis“, a benefit concert set for September 29 at The Town Hall in New York. The folk bill is inspired by the Coen brothers pic, which is about the 1960s folk scene in Greenwich Village. CBS Films will release it December 6, and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Stark Sands are set to perform at the show. Joel and Ethan Coen and T Bone Burnett are producing the event, with some proceeds benefiting the National Recording Preservation Foundation. Tickets go on sale August 21. The pic premiered at Cannes and will show at the upcoming New York Film Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired Other People’s Love Letters, a script that will be helmed by Tom Bezucha. The film has a Love, Actually vibe in that it follows the intertwining storylines of four romances, each at a crossroads. The film was scripted by Bethany Ashton Wolf, and Laurence Mark is producing with Jonathan Shukat, with Tamara Chestna and Eric Bromberg exec producing. They may change the title, but it’s based on the book of the same name, which is a collection of love letters that was edited by Bill Shapiro. They’ll now go out to cast.
This movie is meant to be pure romance, and Tom Bezucha is the perfect director to bring these diverse love stories to life on the screen,” said Mark. WME-repped Bezucha helmed Monte Carlo and The Family Stone. Wolf is repped by APA and Magnet Management. CBS execs Mark Ross and Winnie Kemp are overseeing.