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Hot Trailer: ‘Chasing Mavericks’

Directed by Curtis Hanson with a little help from Michael Apted, 20th Century Fox‘s Chasing Mavericks stars Jonnny Weston as legendary boardman Jay Morarity and Gerard Butler as the veteran who taught the young surfer to master the massive waves at Mavericks in Northern California. Co-starring Elisabeth Shue, Leven Rambin and Abigail Spencer, it opens October 26.

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Walden Media Acquires Gordon Korman Novel ‘Ungifted’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Walden Media has optioned screen rights to Ungifted, a Gordon Korman novel that will be published fall 2012 through the Balzer + Bray imprint of HarperCollins. Korman is the author of two installments of the 39 Clues series that DreamWorks is developing as a film. Ungifted is the story of a 14-year-old kid of average intelligence who’s accidentally placed in a school of gifted students and tries to hide among the brainiacs to escape punishment for a prank he pulled at his old school. He eventually shakes up the uptight, socially awkward advanced students and learns something about his own capabilities. Walden’s Amanda Morgan Palmer and Michael Bostick brought in the book and will hire a writer shortly. The author was repped by Curtis Brown. Walden Media has become quite active, attaching Jennifer Lopez to Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, setting Get Low helmer Aaron Schneider to direct The Conscientious Objector, and getting ready to wrap the Gerard Butler-Jonny Weston surf movie Of Men And Mavericks, which Curtis Hanson directed with help from Michael Apted, who helmed the last 15 shooting days because of a health issue for Hanson. Korman’s repped by Curtis Brown Ltd.

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Michael Apted To Finish Surf Movie For Curtis Hanson

By | Wednesday November 23, 2011 @ 3:49pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After experiencing health complications from a recent heart surgery, director Curtis Hanson is getting help to finish the principal photography on Of Men and Mavericks, the Walden Media drama about big wave surfer Jay Moriarity. Michael Apted is going to step in and complete the final 15 days of principal photography for Hanson, starting on Monday. They are shooting in Northern California, where Moriarity became known for riding treacherous waves called Mavericks. The film stars Gerard Butler, with newcomer Jonny Weston playing Moriarity. Fox will release the film.

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Fox Sets ‘Die Hard 5′ For February 14, 2013; Schedules Other Tentpole Release Dates Too

Mike Fleming

20th Century Fox has set A Good Day To Die Hard for a February 14, 2013 release, the highlight of several pictures the studio has just dated on its release calendar. Bruce Willis is set to reprise his role as John McClane in the John Moore-directed film, and casting is just getting underway for the role of his son, John McClane Jr, which has the agencies abuzz because of the opportunity for a young actor to make a mark.

Fox has dated the Liam Neeson-starrer Taken 2 to open Columbus Day weekend, on October 5, 2012; the Curtis Hanson-directed surfing film Of Men & Mavericks will open October 26, 2012 with Gerard Butler starring; the Billy Crystal/Bette Midler comedy Parental Guidance will bow November 21, 2012 for Thanksgiving; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will open March 27, 2013, which is the Wednesday leading into Easter weekend; and Walking With Dinosaurs has moved to the Columbus Day weekend and will open October 11, 2013. The 3D film was originally scheduled to open December 20, 2013.

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Surf’s Up For Jonny Weston, Who Lands Lead In ‘Mavericks’

By | Friday August 12, 2011 @ 5:43pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Gerard Butler was announced as the big name in the Curtis Hanson-directed surf movie Mavericks, the lead role all the young actors chased is Jay Moriarty, the teenage big-wave rider who successfully rode Mavericks. That is a body of water in Northern California that became popular with daredevil surfers who braved the structure and rocks to ride waves the size of five-story buildings. Twenty-two year-old Jonny Weston has been offered and is in negotiations for the lead role of Moriarty in the Walden Media-backed film.

Kario Salem and Brandon Hooper wrote the script and Hooper is producing with Jim Meenaghan. Butler plays Rick “Frosty” Hesson, the mentor who trained Moriarty to ride the Mavericks when the surfer was just 16. Though Moriarity survived those impossible waves, he died at 22 in a diving accident. But he remains an inspiration to surfers, who coined the phrase “Live like Jay.” Weston’s is currently shooting Cherry, starring alongside James Franco and Dev Patel in the Stephen Elliot-directed indie drama. He’s an accomplished surfer, which helped his cause. Weston’s repped by ICM, 3 Arts and Jeff Gill.

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Kario Salem To Write Crime Thriller For DreamWorks

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Kario Salem has been set by DreamWorks to write an untitled crime thriller. He has already been working for the studio writing the Martin Luther King Jr movie that DreamWorks is doing with Warner Bros. Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff and Adrienne Maloof are producing. The new project is inspired by true events. A decorated war hero returns home to a job as a police officer, and to the woman of his dreams. His world is turned on its head when everything he believes in turns out to be fiction. CAA-repped Salem is writing Scarpetta for Angelina Jolie to play the medical examiner heroine Kay Scarpetta from the Patricia Cornwell novels. He also scripted Mavericks, a Curtis Hanson-directed drama that will star Gerard Butler. Salem’s managed by Anonymous Content.

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Berlin: Gerard Butler Set For Walden Media Surf Pic ‘Mavericks’

By | Friday February 11, 2011 @ 12:21pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Gerard Butler has been set to star in Mavericks, the Curtis Hanson-directed fact-based drama for Walden Media. The film is based on the true story of Santa Cruz surf phenom Jay Moriarity and his quest to ride the treacherous Northern California breaks known as Mavericks, where winter swells create waves the size of five-story buildings. Butler will play Rick “Frosty” Hesson, the mentor who trained Moriarity for over a year and forged a close relationship with the surfer in the process. Though Moriarity survived those impossible waves, he died at 22 in a diving accident. But he remains an inspiration to surfers, who coined the phrase “Live like Jay.”

Hanson, who just directed the HBO financial crisis drama Too Big To Fail, is directing a script by Kario Salem and Brandon Hooper. Hanson is searching for a young actor to play Moriarity. Butler, who recently starred for director Marc Forster in Machine Gun Preacher and the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus, will hit the surf for Mavericks after he completes Playing The Field. That Gabriele Muccino-directed film is Shampoo set in the world of pee wee soccer, where a philandering former pro soccer player tries to reunite with his family by coaching his son’s team, only to put himself in dangerous scoring position with a gaggle of beautiful soccer moms. Butler is exec producing Mavericks with Alan Siegel, and Hanson, Hooper and Jim Meenaghan are producing. Michael Bostick and Amanda Morgan Palmer … Read More »

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Bill Pullman & Matthew Modine Join HBO’s ‘Too Big To Fail’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pullman and Matthew Modine have joined the cast of the HBO movie Too Big to Fail as two big financial CEOs. Directed by Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail dissects the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who brought the world’s economy to the verge of collapse. Pullman will play Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase. Modine, repped by APA and Untitled, will play John Thain, former chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch who sold the company to Bank of America to avoid following Lehman Bros. into bankruptcy. They join a star-studded ensemble cast led by William Hurt, James Woods, Paul Giamatti and Cynthia Nixon.

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HBO Movie ‘Too Big To Fail’ & Lifetime Pilot ‘Against the Wall’ Add To Casts

Nellie Andreeva

John Heard and Sex and the City alum Evan Handler have joined the cast of the HBO film Too Big to Fail, while Kathy Baker has boarded the Lifetime drama pilot Against the Wall. Directed by Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail dissects the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Heard will play former Lehman Brothers president Joe Gregory, while APA-repped Handler will prortray Lloyd Blankfein,  CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs. They join a star-studded ensemble cast led by William Hurt, James Woods and Paul Giamatti. Read More »

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James Woods & Paul Giamatti Among Cast Additions For HBO Film ‘Too Big To Fail’

Nellie Andreeva

HBO has assembled the cast of Too Big to Fail, the Curtis Hanson-directed movie about the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Joining William Hurt, previously set to play Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, are James Woods as Dick Fuld, the last chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers nicknamed the “Gorilla” on Wall Street; HBO regular Paul Giamatti as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke; Billy Crudup as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Ed Asner as Warren Buffett; Kathy Baker as Wendy Paulson and Cynthia Nixon as Michele Davis. Also cast in the movie, set to begin production in mid-October, are Ayad Akhtar as Neel Kashkari, Topher Grace as Jim Wilkinson, Dan Hedaya as Barney Frank, Michael O’Keefe as Chris Flowers, Tony Shalhoub as John Mack and Joey Slotnick as Dan Jester. Read More »

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Bill Hurt To Star In HBO Financial Crisis Pic

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: HBO has set William Hurt to play Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Curtis Hanson to direct Too Big To Fail, a dissection of the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Shooting begins in early fall. Peter Gould wrote the script, based on the book by The New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin who is a consultant on the project. Also consulting are Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera.

HBO had originally intended to make the film using their financial crisis book, All the Devils Are Here, as the basis for the film, but it wasn’t completed in time to be used as source material for Gould’s script. Hanson will be executive producer along with Spring Creek Productions’ Paula Weinstein and Jeffrey Levine. Carol Fenelon is co-executive producer and Ezra Swerdlow is producer.  It marks the first time Hurt and Hanson have made films for HBO.

Paulson is the central focus of a film that dissects how the co-dependency between D.C. and Wall Street nearly destroyed and then repaired the crisis. HBO will begin casting the other major players that will include Paulson’s successor Timothy Geitner, Lehman Bros CEO Richard Fuld and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

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