Comedy series have been immune from runaway production, with only dramas making the trek to other countries, mostly Canada. That is about to change. ABC/ABC Studios’ single-camera pilot Galavant, a comedy fairytale written by Dan Fogelman, with Oscar-winning composer …
EXCLUSIVE: Golden Boys? Three decades after Golden Girls‘ successful 173-episode run on NBC, ABC is developing an ensemble comedy about people in retirement age, this time on the male side. The project, from The Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman and The George Lopez Show co-creator Robert Borden, revolves around three long-lost basketball teammates who reconnect in their 60s and discover they still have a lot to learn about love and friendship. Borden is writing and will executive produce with Fogelman through Fogelman’s Rhode Island Ave. Prods and ABC Studios.
It is good timing for the project, coming on the heels of a weekend where three opening movies featured stars over 60: Fogelman-penned comedy Last Vegas (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline) and dramas Ender’s Game (Harrison Ford) and All Is Lost (Robert Redford). With the baby boomers entering retirement, there is a growing audience for entertainment featuring more mature stars, with such movies showing far stronger legs, like 2007′s The Bucket List, headlined by Freeman and Jack Nicholson, which stayed in theaters for more than months, growing its domestic tally to $93.5 million.
BREAKING: In what will be one of the hot packages at the upcoming AFM, Inimitable Pictures and Mister Smith Entertainment are teaming for Imagine. Dan Fogelman will direct his script and Al Pacino, Jeremy Renner and Julianne Moore will star. Denise DiNovi, who teamed with Fogelman on Crazy, Stupid, Love, will produce alongside Jessie Nelson and Nimitt Mankad, and Shivani Rawat exec producing.
This is the script that Fogelman originally sold for $3 million to Warner Bros with Steve Carell attached. It will instead be funded independently by Inimitable Pictures’ Mankad and Rawat through a film fund backed by Manoj Bhargava, founder of the 5 Hour Energy drink. Principal photography will commence late April/early May 2013.
David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will oversee international licensing and distribution for the film, starting at AFM. WME Global, which made the deal with the agreement with Mister Smith, will handle the domestic deal.
Pacino will play an aging 1970s rock star who is still packing arenas and living a decadent life with a girlfriend way too young for him. On his 64th birthday, he discovers an undelivered letter written to his 19-year-old self from his hero John Lennon. He decides to straighten out, stop making a living off by “selling out” and playing old anthems, and rediscover the music he originally set out to make. He also tries to reconnect with the 40-year-old son he’s never known (Renner). He moves into a small New Jersey hotel and befriends the hotel’s manager (Moore). The rocker’s hope: that despite the rough journey, Lennon’s message that love is all that matters will ring true at the end.
EXCLUSIVE: Jami Gertz and Simon Templeman are set to star in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot from feature writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love). The project, produced by ABC Studios, centers on a family that moves into a highly desirable gated community in New Jersey only to discover that the entire neighborhood is made up of aliens disguised as humans. Gertz will play Debbie Weaver, the matriarch of the human family. Video game voice actor Templeman will play Wilt Chamberlain, the leader of the aliens. Also cast in the pilot are Toks Olagundoye as Jackie Joyner Kersee, the matriarch of the lead alien family and Tim Jo (TBS’ Glory Daze) as Joe Montana, son of the alien family. Chris Koch (Modern Family) will direct the pilot, which is executive produced by Fogelman, Koch and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.
UPDATE: As Deadline predicted, Warner Bros has emerged the victor in a spirited bidding battle for the Dan Fogelman pitch that has Tom Cruise attached to star. Five studios were in the mix after Fogelman met with all the studios yesterday to pitch the film he’ll write. I’m told the deal was just under $2 million upfront against just higher than $3 million if the movie gets made.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has emerged at the frontrunner to pay seven figures for an untitled pitch by Crazy, Stupid, Love scribe Dan Fogelman that has Tom Cruise attached to play a politician who gets caught in an affair. With his reputation in tatters, the pol retreats to his hometown to lick his wounds, repair relationships and confront his past. There are other bidders in the mix, including Fox and Paramount, and MGM is taking a run at the property. WME is brokering the auction.
It’s not surprising that Warner Bros would be aggressive. The studio paid $2.5 million for Crazy, Stupid Love and turned it into a much-buzzed-about summer film that will star Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. The bidding for the new project is north of $1.5 million at the moment, but it could go higher. Fogelman, who has scripted such animated films as Tangled, Bolt and Cars, continues to write scripts that fuel multimillion-dollar spec deals. He got $3 million from Warner Bros for his script Imagine, on which he’s slated to make his directing debut with Carell starring. He followed with a deal at Indian Paintbrush to direct an adaptation of the Jesse Andrews novel Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, which Andrews will adapt. Fogelman’s other script, My Mother’s Curse, is in production at Paramount with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand starring.