Seth Gordon To Helm Sony’s ‘Uncharted’

sethgEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment is negotiating with Seth Gordon to direct Uncharted, the live-action adaptation of the top-selling PlayStation vidgame series Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. This brings the Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief helmer back to his origins, where he helmed the celebrated documentary The King Of Kong and immersed himself in video game culture. The film is an Arad/Atlas Entertainment Production, produced by Chuck Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner, and Ari Arad.

unchThe most recent script of Uncharted is by Safe House scribe David Guggenheim, and the studio was hot enough on that draft that they set him to write Bad Boys 3. The project has had several prominent filmmakers involved over the years, most recently David O Russell, before he left to helm the Roven-produced American Hustle, a Best Picture Oscar contender. Next step is to find a protagonist to play Nathan Drake, the treasure and antiquities hunter and descendant of the famed explorer Sir Francis Drake. With a female journalist and his mentor by his side, Drake attempts to find the lost treasure of El Dorado. It is a big-scale adventure film. Read More »

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Sony Eyeing ‘Safe House’ Scribe David Guggenheim For ‘Bad Boys 3′

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 4:24pm PST
Mike Fleming

Bad BoysEXCLUSIVE: The mantra behind Sony Pictures’ recent restructure that brings in Michael De Luca as production co-president was to make higher quality tent poles. That means spending money on hot writers. I’m told the studio is in early talks with … Read More »

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Universal And Scott Stuber Acquire ‘Weaponized’; ‘Safe House’ Scribe David Guggenheim Adapting Novel He Co-Wrote

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has closed a deal to turn the David Guggenheim and Nicholas Mennuti novel Weaponized into a feature with Scott Stuber producing through his Bluegrass Films banner. Guggenheim, who wrote Safe House for … Read More »

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Chris Columbus’ 1492 and Ocean Blue Make Spec Deal For Santa Claus Tale ‘12/24’

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 10:21am PDT

Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures and Ocean Blue Entertainment have pre-emptively purchased the spec 12/24, which was written by Matt Lieberman based on an original idea from Safe House scribe David Guggenheim. Guggenheim will produce with … Read More »

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Universal Back In Biz With ‘Safe House’ Scribe David Guggenheim’s ‘Black Box’

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 10:16pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Universal Pictures paid seven-figures for Black Box, a script by Safe House scribe David Guggenheim that attracted several serious bids including DreamWorks and Warner Bros, the latter of which I’d heard was bidding for Bradley Cooper. … Read More »

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Universal Sets Scribe For Potential ‘Safe House’ Sequel

By | Wednesday September 5, 2012 @ 6:05pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal has hired scribe David Guggenheim to try drafting a sequel to Safe House, the hit drama that Daniel Espinosa directed with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It’s far from a sure thing, as Washington isn’t really a sequels guy. … Read More »

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‘Safe House’ Scribe David Guggenheim Lands Book Deal For First Novel ‘Exile’

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 1:39pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: David Guggenheim, who scripted the hit Universal Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House, has just landed a deal to co-write his first novel. Exile will be published by Little, Brown imprint Mulholland Books in 2013. Guggenheim will collaborate with … Read More »

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Fox Powers Up David Guggenheim And Tony Scott On ‘Narco Sub’

Twentieth Century Fox acquired the action thriller spec Narco Sub from David Guggenheim with Tony Scott attached to direct. Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films is producing with Tony and Ridley’s Scott Free shingle. Guggenheim developed the script with Kinberg … Read More »

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McG Eyes Summit’s ‘Puzzle Palace’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in talks with McG to direct Puzzle Palace, the cop drama script by David Guggenheim. Summit acquired the project at a pitch early last year from Guggenheim after the scribe sold the spec script Safe Read More »

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Universal Acquires David Guggenheim Pitch ’364′ For Ron Howard To Direct

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has gotten back in business with its Safe House scribe David Guggenheim. The studio has preemptively acquired 364, a drama that will be produced by Imagine Entertainment. Ron Howard is attached to direct. The title refers to … Read More »

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OSCAR: Oh, They Coulda Been Contenders

Pete Hammond

You know the oft-repeated phrase heard this time of year, “It’s an honor just to be nominated”? That was never more true for some who might have actually won the Academy Award but tripped on their way to the Kodak stage by failing to get to first base with a nomination this past Tuesday. This year, presumed frontrunners in different categories weren’t moved forward in the Oscar race because of their own peer group. In case you’re not aware, peer groups pick the individual nominees in their categories. In the final vote, the entire Academy votes for the winners. The membership at large, thought not to be as technically judgmental as the formidable peer groups (or, in some situations, as swayed by petty jealousies), usually tend to select the more obvious choices. But what should be an anomaly happens a lot when it comes to Oscar. In 1989, Driving Miss Daisy was the big winner with four Oscars including Best Picture. Its director Bruce Beresford almost certainly would have made it five except for one small thing: the Director’s branch didn’t nominate him so the Academy at large couldn’t vote for him. It was the first time since Grand Hotel (1931-1932) that a director was not nommed for a movie that won Best Picture. (Instead, Oliver Stone won for Born On The Fouth Of July.) Most famously, Hollywood was shocked when the actors branch didn’t nominate Bette Davis for 1934’s Of Human Bondage even though it was considered one of the greatest female performances ever and its omission  caused  such a stir that the Academy augmented their rules to allow a write-in vote. (The write-in didn’t work, and Claudette Colbert triumphed.) Out of embarrassment, the Academy tried to make amends and gave Davis the Oscar the next year for the much-lesser Dangerous.

For instance, this year in the Best Make Up category, Alice In Wonderland was considered the frontrunner among the seven finalists – but shockingly failed to even be nominated. Instead, the final three nominees were Barney’s Version, The Way Back, and Universal’s early 2010 dud The Wolfman, forcing Academy voters to choose from these far more obscure entries. Which is why I have to ask: Was Paul Giamatti’s disheveled hair in Barney’s Version really better than the Make Up artistry on the Red Queen or the Mad Hatter? It’s all a very closed club, and the answer may not lie in the work itself but in who did the work and who is a member of the club.

For instance, the critically drubbed The Tempest‘s Sandy Powell, a 3-time winner in Oscar’s Costumes category, can get nominated for just about anything she does because she is one of Costume branch’s inner circle. The same is true for the Music branch and John Williams who doesn’t score for movies as much anymore. But any time he does, he’s likely to get a nomination because he’s an icon among musicians.

Regarding the Best Documentary nominations this year, I heard that one Governor of the Academy’s Documentary branch told a consultant that if Waiting For ‘Superman’, Davis Guggenheim’s widely favored education doc from Paramount, received a nomination it would win Best Feature Documentary with the membership at large. But he wasn’t voting for it and neither were some other branch members he knew due to questions they had about the way some of the documentary was conducted. Specifically, objections were raised about one scene recreated for the camera after it happened in real life. The result is that Guggenheim won’t be getting that second Oscar this time around (he won for An Inconvenient Truth) since his documentary didn’t make the cut with his branch.

Christopher Nolan was now infamously passed over in the Best Director category, first for The Dark Knight and this time for Inception. Would he have won this time out for staying true to his passion project? We’ll never know. My guess is there’s a certain level of jealousy because he pretty much can do whatever he wants and wherever he wants. (I often say he could go in and pitch a remake of Howard The Duck and studios would say yes.) Steven Speilberg was famously not nominated as Best Director for the Best Picture nominee Jaws. (Worse, a TV show following around Spielberg that day the Oscar nods were announced showed him anxiously anticipating a nomination that never came.)

Lee Smith’s dazzling Editing for Inception was thought to be an easy winner in that category once it got to the general vote. Problem is, the editors themselves dissed it. No Oscar for Lee this year.

Diane Warren won a Golden Globe this month for the anthem she wrote for Cher in Burlesque called “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me”. And she was considered a likely Academy Award winner this time after 6 previous Oscar nominations. Plus, Cher was expected to perform it on the telecast. Unfortunately, the Academy’s grumpy Music branch decided we had seen the last of Warren this awards season and nominated only four tunes, none of them from the critically reviled Burlesque. Talk about a backlash. (A publicist connected with Warren’s campaign even wanted to ask for a recount but knew the Academy would never allow it.) The same Music branch disqualified Clint Mansell’s soaring blend of original music and Tchaikovsky in Black Swan which almost certainly could have triumphed with the general Academy membership when voting starts on February 2nd. Read More »

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Fox Picks Up ‘Exit Strategy’ Pilot Starring Ethan Hawke; Antoine Fuqua To Direct

Nellie Andreeva

Fox has handed a pilot order to the Ethan Hawke-starring drama Exit Strategy. Antoine Fuqua, who directed Hawke in his Oscar nominated performance in Training Day, is on board to direct the pilot, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman … Read More »

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Ethan Hawke Eyes Fox Drama ‘Exit Strategy’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In what would be his first major series gig, Ethan Hawke is in talks to star in  the Fox drama project Exit Strategy. In addition to starring, Hawke would also serve as producer on the show, which hails from … Read More »

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Terry George Checks Into ‘Safe House’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Terry George has signed on for rewrite duty on Safe House, the Daniel Espinosa-directed Universal drama that goes into production early next year. Ryan Reynolds plays a young CIA agent who must transport a dangerous criminal — Denzel Washington … Read More »

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Fox Picks Up Drama Project ‘Exit Strategy’ Produced By Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci

Nellie Andreeva

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are getting comfortable at Fox. The co-creators of the network’s sci-fi drama Fringe, have set up another high-profile drama project at the network, this time with writer David Guggenheim. Exit Strategy has received a put pilot commitment from Fox. Created by Guggenheim, it is described as a high octane procedural set in the world of CIA agents who are sent in to “fix” operations gone bad. Read More »

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Toronto Fest Finds Mavericks In Bill Gates, Bruce Springsteen And Steve Nash

Mike Fleming

The Toronto International Film Festival has rounded out its film roster, which has swelled to nearly 250 films. The fest filled out its Discovery, Masters, Contemporary World Cinema and Visions and Vanguard programs, but the additions that jumped out to … Read More »

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Who Wants To Play With Denzel? Every Top Young Actor From Ryan Reynolds To Shia LaBeouf And Taylor Kitsch, That’s Who

Mike Fleming

Ryan Reynolds has emerged as front runner in a pack of top young actors vying to star alongside Denzel Washington in Safe House, the David Guggenheim-scripted Universal Pictures drama that … Read More »

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Denzel Washington Back In Bad Guy Mode

Mike Fleming

oscars-actor-training-day-05-ssDenzel Washington is looking to join producer Scott Stuber on Safe House, a David Guggenheim-scripted Universal Pictures drama that will be directed by Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash) about a young CIA agent who must transport a dangerous criminal to safety after … Read More »

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