EXCLUSIVE: Yesterday, I broke a story about Warner Bros making big plans on a live-action feature based on the role-playing fantasy game fixture Dungeons & Dragons. Not so fast, says Hasbro, which claims that it owns the rights to D&D, and that the toymaker company has set up the project at Universal to be developed as a directing vehicle by Chris Morgan, the scribe behind the last five films in The Fast And The Furious franchise (including the upcoming Fast 6) and 47 Ronin.
Related: Warner Bros Acquires ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Rights
Well, nobody is commenting for the record at Warner Bros, but I can tell you the studio isn’t backing down from its plans to move forward on a project that already has a completed script by Wrath Of The Titans scribe David Leslie Johnson, with Roy Lee producing alongside Courtney Solomon. Solomon actually directed the 2000 feature based on the billion-dollar fantasy game. Hasbro spokesman Wayne Charness said that “Hasbro owns the intellectual property rights to Dungeons & Dragons, period, because of Hasbro’s acquisition of Wizards Of The Coast in 1998.” Insiders on the other project maintain this has come up before, and that in a binding arbitration decision, Solomon prevailed and was proven to hold the underlying rights necessary to make the Warner Bros movie possible. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: After making a successful expansion into television, feature writer Chris Morgan is setting up TV shop. Morgan is launching a TV offshoot of his Chris Morgan Prods., which will be housed at 20th Century Fox TV with a two-year pod deal. Under the pact, Morgan will write and produce new series for the studio, as well as supervise other writers and develop projects for all networks.
Morgan, writer of the hit Fast And Furious movie franchise, first tested the TV waters this development season when he sold a few projects, two of which, Gang Related at Fox and Big Thunder at ABC, went to pilot. What’s more, both pilots have been garnering strong early buzz and appear strong contenders for series orders. Morgan wrote and executive produces Gang Related and co-wrote the story and executive produces Big Thunder. He has been in first position on Gang Related, which is produced by 20th Century Fox TV. The pilot was directed by Allen Hughes and stars Ramon Rodriguez, Terry O’Quinn and RZA.
After such a “fast & furious” start in TV, Morgan was pursued by multiple TV studios for a deal but opted to go with 20th TV because of what he said was “an amazing experience” with the studio’s executives during the development and production of Gang Related. “I have big goals in television, and I look forward to achieving them with the studio as my creative partner,” Morgan added. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has made a deal for The Legend Of Conan, an action film that will star Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his signature roles as Robert E. Howard’s mythic barbarian. The deal brings Conan and Schwarzenegger back to Universal, which released the first film that launched Schwarzenegger’s movie career back in 1982. Universal has world rights on the film.
The film will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan. Malmberg is CEO of Paradox Entertainment, which holds the rights to Conan. Morgan is the Universal-based writer and producer whose credits include the last four Fast And The Furious films, along with Wanted and 47 Ronin. Morgan has hatched the story and might write the script. The caveat is that the studio wants The Legend Of Conan for summer 2014, and Morgan might not be finished writing the seventh Fast And Furious installment by then. If that happens he will be a very active producer, because this is Morgan’s dream project.
Schwarzenegger starred in two Conan films before moving on to Terminator and other blockbusters as he became the world’s biggest action star. Paradox was involved in a 2011 reboot at Millennium Films that starred Jason Momoa and misfired. Paradox’s Malmberg, who moved the project away from Warner Bros after seven years of development with big-name filmmakers because the project was moving too slowly, feels that this is the version of the film that he and everybody else always wanted to see on the screen but couldn’t while Schwarzenegger was governor of California.
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg told me. “It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has bought an untitled science fiction pitch hatched by Chris Morgan and Zak Penn. Penn will write and direct, and Morgan will produce.
It’s described as an action film in the vein of Chronicle, the Josh Trank-directed supernatural sleeper hit for Fox. Morgan will produce through his Chris Morgan Productions, the Universal-based shingle from which Morgan wrote and is producing The Fast And The Furious 6. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has preemptively acquired Crime of the Century, a pitch that marks the first sale for Fast 5 scribe Chris Morgan since he signed a two-year first look deal at the studio. Dan Kunka will write the script and Dan Trachtenberg is attached to direct, with Morgan producing … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Chris Morgan’s new production company, which inked a two-year first-look deal at Universal after the scribe’s success with the studio’s Fast Five this summer, has hired Adam Fishbach as VP and Ainsley Davies as Director of Development. Fishbach … Read More »
Universal announced today it has made a two-year term deal with Fast Five screenwriter Chris Morgan, who also penned the studio’s hits The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Wanted. Morgan most recently penned Universal’s upcoming … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Shortly after Arnold Schwarzenegger left the Governor’s Mansion and Tweeted his desire to resume his acting career, there seems to finally be some action on his signature franchise, The Terminator. I’m told that interest is kicking back up. One … Read More »