EXCLUSIVE: Ketchup Entertainment today acquired U.S. distribution rights on Wolves, the action thriller that marks the feature directorial debut of X-Men and Watchmen scribe David Hayter. Written by Hayter, the film stars X-Men: First Class‘ Lucas Till, Watchmen‘s Stephen McHattie, and Game Of Thrones‘ Jason Momoa. Copperheart Entertainment’s Steve Hoban produced with makeup effects by Oscar-winning creature designers Dave Elsey and Lou Elsey. Till plays a high school student who witnesses the brutal murder of his parents, and finds himself turning into a savage wolf. He is thrust between two warring wolf packs fighting for control of Lupine Ridge. Merritt Patterson and John Pyper-Ferguson round out the cast. The film will be released this summer.
Said Ketchup CEO Gareth West: “From the first time we saw Wolves, we knew audiences would be swept up in the exciting action and powerful storytelling. Wolves is a great addition to the Ketchup slate.” Said Hayter: “My producers and I have worked for years to make Wolves something special and unique, and I am confident that we have found committed partners who share that vision.”
The film was funded by Copperheart Entertainment, TF1 International and Telefilm Canada. Ketchup’s West and acquisitions head Stephen Stanley negotiated with UTA Independent Film Group and exec producer Benedict Carver on the deal. Ketchup’s recent acquisitions include the Pierce Brosnan-Emma Thompson comedy Love Punch, the Paul … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has made a development deal for World War III, an apocalyptic event series from X-Men writer David Hayter and Hatfields & McCoys producer Leslie Greif of Thinkfactory Media. The network has ordered a script and a bible for World War III, in which a perfect storm of world events places us in the center of a global battle which may bring the world as we know it to an end. Hayter is writing and will serve as showrunner. He will executive produce with Greif. FX Prods., which supplies a large portion of Fox and FX’s event/limited series, is producing. Fox is making a big push in the arena, with the first two event series under the initiative, 24: Live Another Day and Wayward Pines, slated to air next spring and summer. Hayter is with UTA and Dave Feldman.
David Hayter has been brought on board by Lakeshore Entertainment and Hopscotch Features to write the screenplay for The Sword. The adaptation of what could be a potential franchise for the companies, as Deadline reported back in February, is based on Jonathan and Joshua Luna’s multi volume graphic novel of the same name The Sword, which was first published in 2007, tells the story of the orphaned and paraplegic Dara Brighton and the ancient sword she discovers to seek revenge on the killers of family. By the sound of it, the story fits well within Hayter’s wheelhouse with his previous credits of the likes of 2000’s X-Men, 2003’s X2, 2007’s The Scorpion King and 2009’s Watchmen. “David has a proven track record of bringing the multifaceted, beloved characters of graphic novels to mainstream audiences and we’re excited that he’ll be joining us for The Sword,” said Lakeshore Chairman and CEO Tom Rosenberg in a statement Monday. Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, along with Skip Williamson, and Hopscotch’s Andrew Mason, will produce the adventure pic with Hopscotch’s Troy Lum as Executive Producer. This marks the second collaboration between Lakeshore and Hopscotch. The duo have previously partnered on upcoming I, Frankenstein, out early next year. CAA represents the Luna Brothers, as well as the graphic novel rights to The Sword. David Hayter is represented by UTA and attorney David Feldman.
EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Carver has been hired as SVP Filmed Entertainment at Entertainment One. He will be responsible for ramping up eOne’s output of film and TV product. Carver reports to eOne Television dramatic programming president Noreen Halpern and Lara Thompson, eOne’s SVP Worldwide Acquisitions.
Carver, a former colleague of mine back at Daily Variety, left journalism to become Screen Gems’ SVP of acquisitions and co-productions. There, he was involved in putting together successes that included the Resident Evil, Underworld and Hostel franchises, as well as bringing in highbrow films that included Girlfight, El Crimen del Padre and The Squid and the Whale. Carver spent the past few years partnered with X-Men screenwriter David Hayter in Dark Hero Studios. They made a first-look TV deal with eOne in March 2010, and Carver became more involved with that company and decided to jump back into the executive ranks. He and Hayter continue to work on numerous projects together that include the TV series Push and the Anne McCaffrey feature adaptation Dragonriders of Pern, which has Hayter attached to write. EOne has Canadian rights to Hayter’s directorial debut Wolves, a thriller that will shoot later this year with funding from TF1. Steve Hoban is producing that feature and Carver is executive producer. Carver’s other producing credits include Doomsday and Tekken.
“I’ve known Benedict since his days at Screen Gems and I have always been impressed by the combination of creative skills and business acumen that … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has put in development The Damned, a drama series project based on independent graphic novel and comic book publisher Oni Press’ comic book limited series. It will be written by feature writer David Hayter, who has co-penned several big-screen comic book adaptations: X-Men, X2 and Watchmen. Oni Press’ sister company Closed on Mondays Entertainment, the Littlefield Co. and CBS Television Studios are producing. The Damned is described as a modern adaptation of the comic, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt. It will revolve around Eddie, a cursed man who is stuck in the middle of a turf war in modern-day Chicago where mobsters are demons. Eddie must play all the angles to keep the warring families at bay while trying to reclaim his soul. Hayter, Closed on Mondays’ Eric Gitter and Warren Littlefield executive produce with Joe Nozemack and Andy Bourne also producing. Oni Press and Closed on Mondays are repped by WME and David Guillod Management; Littlefield is with CAA; Hayter is with UTA.
Studios usually view Comic-Con as a venue to start momentum on projects that won’t be in theaters for up to a year. This Saturday, DreamWorks and Universal will try to turn the rabid youth demographic at Comic-Con into true believers for Cowboys & Aliens, a week before the picture opens. It’s crucially important to a movie that has a budget pegged by insiders at $163 million (whispers around town are it could be higher) big stars in Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, and the god-fathering presence of Steven Spielberg and Imagine’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It is also directed by Jon Favreau, whose Iron Man films and past Comic-Con patronage has made him a hero to that crowd.
Despite this pedigree, Cowboys & Aliens has endured a tortured development history involving more than a dozen writers. (Just five writers got screenplay credit after the Writers Guild not surprisingly held an arbitration trying to figure who did what over 14 years.) Now the movie faces even bigger challenges. It’s a mash-up of two genres that usually don’t cross paths, Westerns and science fiction. Word around town is the film has a cash break participation pool in the 35% range. In the wake of the behemoth opening of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, tracking has been soft, there is no 3D conversion to justify higher ticket prices, factors that could put the … Read More »
Dragonriders of Pern, one of the biggest-selling science fiction novel series, is being turned into a live-action feature. David Hayter has been set to write the script for Dragonflight, the first novel in a series that includes 22 novels generated by Anne McCaffrey. Steve Hoban’s Copperheart Entertainment has teamed with Hayter and Benedict Carver’s Dark Hero Studios and Angry Films partners Don Murphy and Susan Montford on the project. Entertainment One is also a partner and has gotten the project off the ground by acquiring distribution in Canada, with talks ongoing to acquire numerous other territories that will include the UK and Australia.
The first book was published in 1968. It focuses on an elite group of warriors who take to the skies on the backs of giant, fire-breathing dragons with telepathic powers, as they to save the exotic planet of Pern from a terrifying airborne menace. Read More »