EXCLUSIVE: Cuba Gooding Jr, Michael Madsen and Keith David have joined the cast of Comedy Central’s new scripted series Big Time In Hollywood, FL, produced by Ben Stiller‘s Red Hour and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Written by Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf, it follows two delusional brothers and self-proclaimed filmmakers (Anfanger, Lenny Jacobson), who are kicked out of their parents’ (Kathy Baker, Stephen Tobolowsky) house and forced to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives, leading them on an epic journey in pursuit of their American dream. In six episodes of Big Time‘s 10-episode order, Oscar winner Gooding will play a fictionalized version of himself. In four episodes. Madsen will play a grizzled, alcoholic private investigator hired by the family to track their sons’ criminal activity. In six episodes, David will play a federal agent sent to investigate Cartel activity in Hollywood, Fla. The series is filming in Los Angeles for 2015 debut.
Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Madsen & Keith David Join Comedy Central Series ‘Big Time In Hollywood, FL’
EXCLUSIVE: Cuba Gooding Jr has closed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV to develop a single-camera half-hour comedy set in an old-school boxing gym. Gooding will co-create and executive produce the project with Jason Winer‘s Small Dog Picture Company. The Oscar-winning actor is not attached to star at this point, we’re told, and there’s no writer yet. Gooding and Small Dog are meeting with potential showrunners before taking the project — which is not being called a sitcom — out to networks.
Based on Gooding’s love of boxing, the series is set in a gym in a newly gentrified neighborhood where hard-core boxers, weekend warriors and soccer moms gather to practice.
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is set to play famed civil rights attorney and activist Fred Gray in Paramount Pictures’ Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King’s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign, regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement. Gray came to prominence while working alongside King during that period. Gooding joins previously cast David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Oprah Winfrey and Martin Sheen in the pic produced by Plan B and Winfrey. Ava DuVernay is directing from a script she rewrote from Paul Webb’s original version. Gooding won a best supporting actor Oscar for 1996′s Jerry Maguire. His other film credits include Machete Kills, Don Jon, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and As Good As It Gets. Gooding is repped by ICM partners and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.
Oscar winners Louis Gossett Jr and Cuba Gooding Jr, Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help) and Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue, Home Again) have been tapped to star in The Book Of Negroes miniseries, based on Lawrence Hill’s bestselling 2007 novel. The project from Conquering Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment and Entertainment One Television will air on BET Networks in the U.S. and CBC in Canada. The story centers on Aminata Diallo, who is taken by slave traders from West Africa to South Carolina. It follows her through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the jungles of Sierra Leone, before she ultimately secures her freedom in England in the early 1800s. Cast also includes Ben Chaplin, Allan Hawko and Jane Alexander. The mini-series is co-written by Clement Virgo and Lawrence Hill. Virgo will direct. Principal photography begins this week in South Africa.
ICM Partners has signed Cuba Gooding Jr. No Oscar-winner’s path has been more confounding than that of Gooding. He seemed poised for great things after his performance as the wide receiver opposite Tom Cruise in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, followed by his exuberant Oscar acceptance speech. Gooding has been in some decent movies since — Men Of Honor, Pearl Harbor, As Good As It Gets and American Gangster – but it also looked like he went for a lot of easy paydays and squandered his momentum. It also didn’t help that right after all the acclaim Gooding received for his performance as a player who stayed loyal to his sports agent, Gooding ditched his film agent right after, and has bounced like a tennis ball between talent agencies. He comes to ICM from CAA at a time when he has some momentum. He’s currently on Broadway in The Trip To Bountiful and has the lead role in Life Of A King, the indie film that premiered last weekend at the LA Film Festival. He should get a real boost from the Lee Daniels-directed The Butler, which The Weinstein Company releases August 16. He’s got a strong supporting role that could put Gooding back on track.
EXCLUSIVE: Legal drama pilot Guilty is staying in contention at Fox as the studio behind it, Warner Bros. TV, has moved on to extend the options on four actors, including star Cuba Gooding Jr. Pilots that are kept alive post-upfronts after missing the cut to series are usually put in midseason consideration. But in an interesting twist, I hear that Fox is exploring different scenarios for Guilty, including a potential fall 2013 launch, so the actors’ extensions are longer than normal. Of the five regulars in the pilot, WBTV has extended the options of Cuba Gooding Jr., Jay Harrington, Eva Amurri Martino and Julian Morris. The option on Sharon Leal was not extended.
Guilty, from WBTV, Berlanti Prods. and Wonderland Sound and Vision, centers on a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney (Gooding Jr.) who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling and to ultimately exact revenge on the man who set him up. Guilty was written by Marc Guggenheim and directed by McG, who executive produced it with Greg Berlanti and Peter Johnson. The pilot came in strong, with Gooding Jr. testing very high. It didn’t make it to the schedule after the network decided to pick up only two new drama series for next season because of limited shelf space. But Fox brass remained interested in Guilty, leading to continuous conversations …
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired U.S. rights to Deception, an action thriller starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Emmanuelle Vaugier that started shooting this week on Queensland’s Gold Coast. It’s the 42nd film directed by the Los Angeles-based Brian Trenchard-Smith. Vaugier plays a U.S. reporter on the trail of the men who killed her husband at a marina, with Gooding playing a laconic FBI agent. The script is by Canadian Kraig Wenman, and Voltage Pictures is handling international sales. “Deception is another of my genre cocktails blending an action suspense thriller with a whodunit,” said Trenchard-Smith, who started his career in Australia on films such as The Man From Hong Kong, Stunt Rock, BMX Bandits and Turkey Shoot. “It’s great to shoot the Gold Coast as the Gold Coast and not Florida for a change.”
After playing a Prohibition-era gangster on the most recent season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, William Forsythe is set to play a modern day one in in Fox’s untitled Josh Berman/Rob Wright pilot. Forsythe will co-star opposite Jordana Spiro in the project, directed by Michael Dinner, which centers on Grace Delvin (Spiro), one of Chicago’s top young cardiothoracic surgeons who, to save her gambling-indebted brother, is forced to moonlight as a “mob doctor.” Forsythe, repped by the Arlook Group and Innovative Artists, will play Alexander Constantine, the charismatic leader of the Southside mob. Charming yet diabolical, seemingly low-key yet incredibly powerful, he is an oddly compassionate killer and a Mephistophelean figure to Grace, who may also be his estranged daughter.
Better Off Ted star Jay Harrington has been tapped for a co-starring role opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in the Fox drama pilot Guilty, from Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti. The project, written by Guggenheim and to be directed by McG, centers on William “Billy” Remz (Gooding), a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling … and to exact revenge on those who set him up. Harrington, repped by ICM and A Management, will play Scott, a former colleague of Billy’s who has set up a practice of his …
In what would be his first series-regular gig, Cuba Gooding Jr is set as the lead in Fox’s legal drama pilot Guilty, from Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti. The project, written by Guggenheim and to be directed by McG, centers on William “Billy” Remz (Gooding), a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney who, after being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, uses his unorthodox methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling … and to exact revenge on those who set him up. Guggenheim, Berlanti, McG and Peter Johnson executive produce the pilot for Warner Bros TV. While broadcast networks very rarely cast black actors as the leads of drama series, this pilot season we have two such projects – Guilty and ABC’s Last Resort, toplined by Andre Braugher. Additionally, Kerry Washington plays the lead in ABC’s upcoming midseason drama series Scandal. Gooding Jr, best known for his Oscar-winning turn in Jerry Maguire, recently co-starred in George Lucas’ Red Tails.