FX has bought a drama pitch from L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy and producers Joe Roth and Clark Peterson. Based on Ellroy’s 2012 novella Shakedown, the project is set in the tabloid world and underbelly of Los Angeles circa the late 1950s and centers on the city’s top informant/operator/wire tapper/fixer, Fred Otash, who lives and works where the glamour and the grime intersect. A fictionalized version of legendary Hollywood vice cop-turned-private eye Otash, who exposed the sins of the rich and famous in the 1950s magazine Confidential, also appeared in Ellroy’s novels The Cold Six Thousand and Blood’s a Rover.
Ellroy, repped by CAA and manager Joel Gotler, is writing Shakedown and will executive produce the series with Roth, Peterson, Steven Hoban and Palak Patel for FX Prods. This marks a return to FX for Ellroy, who developed cop drama Throwdown Gun at the network two years ago. On the feature side, James Franco recently signed on to direct and star in an adaptation of Ellroy’s American Tabloid.
EXCLUSIVE: After the West Memphis 3 murder defendants were released from prison today after 18 years, it seemed like just a matter of time before the movie crowd got involved because the case is so controversial and became a cause celebre with the likes of Johnny Depp and Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Turns out that there is a feature film that already has a screenplay and a major director, ready to start production by the spring. Devil’s Knot is an under $20 million feature that has The Sweet Hereafter and Chloe director Atom Egoyan aboard to direct a script that was originally written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, the team behind The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Egoyan has spent the last six weeks working with Boardman on a rewrite. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David Cronenberg’s science-fiction horror classic Scanners may be headed to the small screen. The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films is developing a drama series adaptation of the movies about a group of people with telepathic and telekinetic abilities, with The Hills Have Eyes writer-director Alexandre Aja signed to executive produce the series and potentially direct the pilot.
Dimension was not involved in the original 1981 Scanners film or its sequels, but acquired the rights to the franchise in a development deal several years ago. The original plan was to mount a theatrical remake, with David Goyer tapped to write two drafts, and Rene Malo, Clark Peterson and Pierre David signed as producers. But with the recent resurgence of genre TV dramas like AMC’s monster hit The Walking Dead, Dimension started also considering a small-screen adaptation. According to insiders, it was Dimension principal Bob Weinstein and Aja who conceived of the plan to transform the Scanners property into a TV show. Malo, Peterson and David remain attached as executive producers on the series, while Goyer is no longer involved. Dimension is already in talks with potential showrunners to create and run the series. Aja is repped by WME and Industry Entertainment.
Salma Hayek and her Ventanarosa Productions have joined Clark Peterson and Ron Senkowski to produce an animated feature based on the Kahlil Gibran book The Prophet. Hayek’s producing partner Jose Tamez will executive produce with co-financier Steve Hanson. The intention is for different directors to helm each chapter, with an interconnecting theme and a musical through-line. Filmmakers expected to participate so far include Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda), Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), Chris Landreth (Oscar-winning short Ryan), Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog and Your Face) and Kunio Kato (Oscar winning short Tsumiki no ie). Other filmmakers are expected to sign on, and the producers are in discussions with private-equity financiers to complete the funding for the picture.
The Prophet is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies since its original publication in 1923. Gibran, a Lebanese-American, is the third-most-read poet in history after Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. The book is about a prophet, Al-Mustafa, who awaits passage home on a ship after being away 12 years. He shares his theories on the important things in life. Hayek has been interested in the book since childhood. The rights were obtained by a group led by Hanson in an agreement with the Gibran National Commmittee in B’Sharre, Lebanon, the representative of Gibran’s … Read More »