Columbia Pictures‘ EVP Production Sam Dickerman is moving to Disney, taking the same title and reporting to Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey. While at Sony, Dickerman worked most recently on current Oscar Best Picture …
Culver City, Calif. (December 6, 2013) – Michael De Luca is joining Sony Pictures Entertainment as President of Production for Columbia Pictures. De Luca will partner with Hannah Minghella to oversee development and production for the Columbia Pictures label and will report to Doug Belgrad, President, Columbia Pictures.
“Mike has worked with us on several of our highest-quality and most commercial recent films, and he’s nurtured many of our generation’s most important filmmakers. Likewise, Hannah is a tremendous creative executive who has made major contributions to our entire slate, in particular our key Spider-Man and Jump Street franchises. Together, Hannah and Mike will be a formidable team,” said Belgrad.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony has finally found its replacement for Gary Martin, who stepped down in January from his longtime dual posts as President, Production Administration, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group and President, Sony Pictures Studios Operations. (Sony even renamed the studio’s Stage 15 as “The Gary Martin Sound Stage”.) Veteran producer Andrew Z. Davis has been tapped as President of Production Administration for Columbia Pictures, where he will supervise all aspects of physical production including postproduction and visual effects for all Columbia films as well as live-action portions of films from Sony Pictures Animation. He will work with President of Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations Andrew Gumpert, President of Production Hannah Minghella and Sony Pictures Digital Productions President Bob Osher and report to Columbia president Doug Belgrad.
BREAKING: Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been selected to direct The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. The film, loosely based on the 1980s TV series, has been a hot ticket for directors since Denzel Washington agreed to play the title role. A number of directors had been considered along the way. Negotiations toward a deal will begin immediately with Refn.
Culver City, CA (November 1, 2012) – Columbia Pictures has picked up the United States distribution rights to Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER from Annapurna Pictures. In addition to the U.S. distribution rights, Columbia Pictures also joins the film as a co-financer. The deal reunites Miller with Columbia, having previously collaborated with the studio on last fall’s release of the Academy Award®-nominated picture, MONEYBALL. Panorama Media is commencing International sales of the film at the upcoming American Film Market.
Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall, FOXCATCHER was written by Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye. Producing the film are Megan Ellison, Anthony Bregman, and Miller. The film is currently in production.
(Culver City, July 31, 2012) – DeVon Franklin has been named Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, to whom Franklin will report.
In his new role, Franklin will find, develop and supervise production of commercial material geared towards the urban and faith-based markets. He will work with all of the film divisions within the Sony Pictures umbrella. His next project will be the film adaptation of the New York Times Bestseller, Heaven Is For Real.
The promotion recognizes the executive’s success supervising such hit films as The Karate Kid, Jumping the Broom, and the highly anticipated film Sparkle, starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks.
Franklin will continue to work on Columbia Pictures franchise titles such as The Karate Kid, Masters of the Universe and After Earth.
CULVER CITY, Calif., March 1, 2012 – Bruce Willis will star in Five Against A Bullet, the action thriller being developed by producers Lorenzo DiBonaventura, Jordan Schur, and David Mimran for Columbia Pictures, it was announced today by Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures.
Alex Litvak is writing the screenplay which centers on a Mexican politician who, after his father is killed by a drug cartel, hires the five best bodyguards from around the world to protect him through a contentious election.
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, “We have been excited about this project since acquiring the rights last year from Mimran Schur and believe Bruce Willis is the perfect actor to lead this cast. We look forward to moving Five Against A Bullet into production quickly.”
Sam Dickerman and Lauren Abrahams are overseeing the project for the studio. Erik Howsam, who first brought the project into Columbia Pictures, will oversee on behalf of DiBonaventura Pictures
CULVER CITY, Calif., January 31, 2012 – Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison and Hasbro, Inc. are in final talks to develop Candy Land, a live action movie based on the bestselling Hasbro board game with Adam Sandler attached to star, it was jointly announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, Hannah Minghella, President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and Brian Goldner, Hasbro President and CEO. Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is attached to direct the project for the studio with Sandler and Robert Smigel are in talks to write the screenplay.
The film industry poured into town for the Toronto Film Festival’s Gala Opening Thursday night kickoff of Davis Guggenheim’s U2 movie, From the Sky Down. But the festival really got off and running earlier in the day, as least as far as Sony Pictures was concerned. The studio that could have had its first Best Picture Oscar win in more than two decades last year with The Social Network is serving notice that it is back in the race again this year with two potential Best Pic contenders. Both Brad Pitt’s Moneyball and George Clooney’s The Ides of March screened back-to-back in a theater packed with press and industry types this afternoon. This was in advance of the studio’s double gala premieres Friday night at the Roy Thomson Hall. That inevitably will provide a double dose of star power that film festival organizers can only dream of.
In the case of Moneyball, Sony is throwing its world premiere here. Bringing it to the screen was a tumultuous 8-year ride, but it was all worth it. You can definitely add Pitt to the growing list of Best Actor contenders and throw in Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill as supporting possibilities. The film, based on Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, is a baseball movie that even people who hate baseball might appreciate. It all started in 2003 when former New Line exec Rachael Horovitz tried to sell it to a studio but got no takers. Finally teaming with writer Stan Chervin (who gets a story credit), they threw a winning pitch, drawing fervent interest in 2004 from both Warners and Sony. They went with the latter and Amy Pascal, who I am told showed great passion for the project from day one.
Initially, baseball freak Steven Soderbergh was involved, but he had to pass because of other commitments, including another baseball-themed movie he had for George Clooney. Eventually Sony brought in producer Michael De Luca to join Horovitz and, five years later in 2009, Soderbergh was back to direct. But in a well-detailed case of creative differences the Oscar-winning director was jettisoned from the film just 72 hours before production was to begin when the studio changed its mind about his changes to Steven Zaillian’s adaptation. His primary addition included Reds-like testimonials from real-life players. Pitt, knowing a good thing when he saw it, stayed on board throughout. The project really got back on track with executive producer Scott Rudin coming aboard along with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who did a polish on Zaillian’s script (both get credit now), and the hiring of Bennett Miller (Capote) to replace Soderbergh.
It’s easy to see why Pitt would want to stick with this role even after his friend and Ocean’s 11 director Soderbergh left (he moved on to direct Contagion, which hits theaters today). This is a classic movie star role in the tradition of something that Robert Redford or Paul Newman would have done in their prime. He has never been better, and the movie is the best sports film since Bull Durham, a real triumph considering the long and winding road it took to get to the screen.
Actually, the full title is Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: