EXCLUSIVE: Another hot Swedish novel is headed for an U.S. screen adaptation. 20th Century Fox TV has acquired rights to the upcoming thriller De Redan Döda by author Robert Karjel, for studio-based Chernin Entertainment to develop as a drama series with Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment. Titled The Swede, the project centers on a Swedish secret service agent summoned to a remote U.S. military base to interrogate a prisoner thought to be a fellow Swede. He is drawn into the complex investigation led by a female CIA agent, where the evidence takes them from the 2004 Thailand tsunami to a terrorist attack in Topeka, Kansas, and where no one is who they seem to be. De Redan Döda follows in the footsteps of the Millennium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, which became the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie franchise and Leif G.W. Persson’s Backstrom books, which have been in series development at 20th TV for the past two seasons, most recently going to pilot at CBS starring Rainn Wilson last spring. READ MORE »
Fox Gives 13-Episode Series Order To Ancient Egypt Drama ‘Hieroglyph’ From Travis Beacham & Chernin Entertainment
A day after 6-year-old pilot Babylon Fields came back to life with a pilot order at NBC, another old drama project is making a comeback. During the 2011-12 development season, Travis Beacham‘s fantastical action-adventure spec Hieroglyph narrowly missed the cut for a pilot order at Fox. Two years later, it did one better — landing a straight-to-series 13-episode order.
Produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment, Hieroglyph, which is eyed for next season, is set in ancient Egypt, where fantasy and reality intertwined. It follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. Executive producing the project are Beacham, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Miguel Sapochnik (Fringe), who will direct the premiere episode. Filming is scheduled to begin in early 2014. “We wanted to do a show about deceit, sex, intrigue in the court and fantastical goings-on — no better place to set that than ancient Egypt,” said Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. “Travis Beacham has an inventive mind, and he has wrapped this all together in this intoxicating new drama.”
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment have set best-selling author Dennis Lehane to script Silk Road, a fact-based tale taken from an article that Joshua Davis is writing for the Epic website, which is devoted to film-friendly longform journalism. It’s the true story of a young kid who was arrested for putting out a hit on the clients of the Silk Road, the illegal online bazaar he created where one could buy illegal goods including drugs or services like contract killings. Lehane wrote Shutter Island, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Live By Night, which is Ben Affleck’s next directing effort at Warner Bros. Lehane also scripted Animal Rescue, the Chernin-produced Michael R. Roskam-directed drama for Fox Searchlight that stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini.
Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce along with Davis and Joshuah Bearman. Davis and Bearman are journalists who partnered in Epic, the company that formed a first-look Fox deal to produce films based on magazine articles hatched by them and other journalists. Bearman wrote the article that served as the jumping off point for Best Picture Oscar winner Argo.
There was a stampede for the movie rights to this story, and Chernin’s Kerry Foster was integral in making this happen. Amy Schiffman from Intellectual Property Group and attorney Jason Hendler of Hanson Jacobson brokered the deal for Lehane.
EXCLUSIVE: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has been tapped to adapt Night Film, the Marisha Pessl noir novel for Chernin Entertainment and director Rupert Wyatt. Aguirre-Sacasa, one of the saviors who rescued the troubled stage musical Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, has been working in every medium. He ranges from Glee to scripting the remake of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown and a screen version of Archie for Warner Bros, to writing the book for the Broadway musical transfer of Magic Mike. In Night Film, a journalist investigates the suspected suicide of a young beauty, and discovers she is the daughter of a reclusive horror film helmer and that the girl was murdered and someone is bent on revenge.
EXCLUSIVE: Ted Melfi, currently directing a cast of Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and Chris O’Dowd in his directorial debut St. Vincent De Van Nuys for The Weinstein Company, is moving closer to his next picture. I’m told that Sony Pictures and Chernin Entertainment are nearing a rights deal for the J.R. Moehringer memoir The Tender Bar, with Melfi to write the script and direct. Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce. Mark Bauch will be exec producer. Chernin Entertainment is producing St. Vincent De Van Nuys.
The bestselling memoir was published in 2005 and told the story of how as a youth, the author grew up without a father but surrounded him with unlikely surrogates: the patrons who haunted a pub in Manhasset, Long Island where his uncle tended bar. Moehringer broke into journalism as a copyboy at The New York Times and won a Pulitzer for feature writing at the L.A. Times.
The movie Melfi’s currently shooting melded personal episodes in Melfi’s life. Part of it came after Melfi’s brother died tragically five years ago at age 38, and Melfi and his wife adopted his 11-year old daughter. Told to write about someone in her life reminiscent of a saint, she chose Melfi and St. Will of Rochester, the patron saint of adopted children.
Forget the speculation that Peter Chernin has lost interest in teaming with AT&T to bid for Hulu ahead of the Friday deadline for final offers. He and the telco will be there, along with a group that’s expected to include DirecTV, Guggenheim Digital, investment firm KKR, Silver Lake Partners with WME, and Time Warner Cable — with Yahoo a question mark. Some people began to wonder about Chernin’s intentions Monday after Fox unveiled a deal to license shows to Netfllix. The arrangement meant that Hulu lost its access to full seasons of the Chernin Entertainment-produced sitcom New Girl. (It will only be able to offer a few episodes at a time.) Yet we’re told that he’s still eager to help AT&T. Company watchers say that the telco’s intrigued by the possibility of turning Hulu into the centerpiece of a new wireless video business that would ask studios to help pay for the costs to transmit video to mobile devices. It was a coup for the company to align with Chernin who’s popular in Hollywood and helped to develop Hulu back when he was No. 2 at News Corp.
EXCLUSIVE: Dylan Clark, who three years ago transitioned from an exec veep post at Universal Pictures to become president of the film division of Chernin Entertainment, is in the process of transitioning out of that post to produce …