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Warner Bros Heating Up With Rupert Wyatt And Michael Fassbender?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Action is heating up on Londongrad, the Warner Bros drama about the mysterious death of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poised in 2006 with polonium-210. I’m told the studio is in discussions with Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and that the studio is courting Michael Fassbender to play Litvinenko. The script is by David Scarpa.

As Litvinenko deteriorated in a London hostpital bed, he went public with accusations that he was done in by then-Russian president Vladimir Putin. The mystery was never really solved. I’m told that Wyatt’s producing partner Alan Moloney will join a roster of producers that include Graham King and Johnny Depp and Christi Dembrowski’s Infinitum Nihil.

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David Koepp Takes On ‘The Thin Man’ For Johnny Depp And Rob Marshall

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Johnny Depp waits to see if director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer can figure out a way to salvage The Lone Ranger after Disney halted the film because of a huge budget, Depp is making forward progress on dusting off another period property. David Koepp has been set to write the script for the remake of the 76-year-old film The Thin Man, the remake that Depp set up last year at Warner Bros as a vehicle to re-team with his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. Depp will produce with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski, Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick, Marshall and John DeLuca. There was talk that Jerry Stahl was going to write, but apparently nothing was written and Koepp is going to start from scratch. Which means he’ll go back to the Dashiell Hammett novel that spawned the series of six MGM films that starred William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Depp will play Nick, the former detective who marries an adorable young socialite, drinks a lot and occasionally solves a case. There is no word yet on who’ll join Depp and play Nora. The original intention is to take elements of the first two films and work them into one film, putting it into a period setting and giving it a Sherlock Holmes-like stylized treatment. Marshall also intends to use his talent as a choreographer (remember he did Chicago) and work in a musical number or two. Read More »

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Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil Makes Disney Deals For ‘The Night Stalker’ And Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Disney and Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil are teaming up on two new projects: a feature version of the ’70s TV movie The Night Stalker, and a drama about the Midnight Ride made by Paul Revere to warn Colonial militia of the impending British invasion. Depp is the potential star of both films, and he and his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski will produce.

Like many, Dembrowski and Depp had fond memories of the ABC telepic and series The Night Stalker, and they got Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey sparked on a pitch for Depp to potentially play tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak. Originated by Darren McGavin, Kolchak was the dogged journalist first seen in the 1972 telepic (where he hunted a killer who was draining the blood of beautiful girls on the Las Vegas strip) and later in the ABC series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Kolchak’s investigations always seemed to lead him to the doorstep of vampires, zombies, werewolves and aliens. For its time, it was pretty scary stuff. The studio will go out to writers shortly. David Kennedy will be exec producer.

Dembrowski and Depp set up the Paul Revere film at Disney with Batman Forever scribes Lee and Janet Batchler writing the screenplay. The film will focus on the Boston silversmith and that 24-hour period in which he made the risky “midnight ride” from Charlestown to Lexington, becoming a seminal figure in the American Revolutionary War. Jon Brown and Infinitum Nihil’s Margaret French-Isaac will be executive producers.

It is a coup for Disney’s Ross and Bailey to be back in business with Depp, right after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides cracked the $1 billion mark in worldwide gross. It’s the third time that the studio has reached the billion-dollar milestone on a film with Depp in the lead role, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Alice In Wonderland. Depp next saddles up for the studio with Armie Hammer in the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger. Read More »

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Johnny Depp Re-Ups Deal With GK Films

Mike Fleming

Johnny-Depp-and-Angelina-JolieEXCLUSIVE: GK Films partners Graham King and Tim Headington have re-cemented one of GK Films’ most important relationships, re-upping Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production shingle for another three years. Depp signed his first deal with King in 2004. Under the new deal, GK Films will fully finance and co-produce film and TV projects hatched by Depp and Infinitum Nihil president Christi Dembrowski. Deal comes at as King and Headington are poised to expand their company in big ways. They’ve hired Sony Pictures honcho Peter Schlessel to become president, and they are establishing an independent film distribution unit that will be run by respected vet Bob Berney (King has not confirmed Berney will be coming aboard or that he’s starting a distribution unit).

Depp is all over GK’s current important projects, either as an actor or producer. He just starred with Angelina Jolie in the Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck-directed drama The Tourist, as well as in GK’s adaptation of Hunter Thomnpson’s  The Rum Diary. Depp’s Infinitum Nihil is teamed with GK Films to produce the Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo Cabret, the 3D film which begins production shortly. Infinitum Nihil and GK are also producing Dark Shadows for Warner Bros, with Depp starring for director Tim Burton. Depp even provided the voice for the title character in Rango, the Gore Verbinski-directed animated film that King is producing with Verbinski’s Blind Wink Productions and John B. Carls for release by Paramount Pictures next March.

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