EXCLUSIVE: ABC Studios is keeping its ABC drama pilot Clementine alive by extending the options on the cast that were set to expire at the end of the month. Clementine was on the short list of ABC series pickup contenders but missed the cut. It was one of two supernatural/genre drama pilots, along with The Whispers (aka The Visitors), which went to series. Written by Dean Georgaris and directed by Michael Dinner, Clementine centers on habitual criminal Clementine Ross (Sarah Snook) who digs in to the mystery of her origins after she becomes the target of a group of zealots who fear she possesses latent supernatural abilities that she will one day harness for either profound good or monstrous evil. The cast of the project, from the Mark Gordon Co., also includes Mykelti Williamson, David Strathairn, Edwin Hodge, Kevin Alejandro, Kathleen Munroe, Nick Gehlfuss and McKenna Grace. Alejandro was recently tapped for and is currently filming another drama, A&E’s 10-episode straight-to-series The Returned, from Carlton Cuse. Cuse has a strong relationship with ABC Studios where he co-ran Lost for six seasons and is now the co-creator/executive producer of Amazon pilot Point of Honor. While a positive sign, extending cast options does not guarantee a series pickup. Last season, of all pilots that picked up their actors only one, NBC’s Craig Robinson comedy, went to series.
David Strathairn is set for a lead role in ABC‘s high-concept drama pilot Clementine, from feature scribe Dean Georgaris, ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co. The project centers on Clementine, a habitual criminal who digs into the mystery of her origins after she becomes the target of a group of zealots who fear she possesses latent supernatural abilities that she will one day harness for either profound good or monstrous evil. Strathairn will play Henry, her father. The actor, who won an Emmy for HBO’s Temple Grandin, recently toplined the Syfy series Alphas and was seen in Lincoln. He is repped by ICM Partners and Ryan Entertainment.
Related: ABC Pilots 2014
Producers Paula Wagner, Roy Furman and Stephanie P. McClelland are announcing today that Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® Award winner David Strathairn will play “Dr. Austin Sloper” opposite Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain who will play “Catherine Sloper” in the Tony Award®-winning play The Heiress, directed by Tony Award® nominated playwright and director Moisés Kaufman.
This is David’s return to Broadway having last appearing in Salome with Al Pacino and Dianne Wiest in 2003. Later this year he will appear opposite Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln directed by Steven Spielberg.
The Heiress will open in the Fall of 2012 at a theatre to be announced.
David Strathairn has been set for a key role in Lincoln by director Steven Spielberg. He’ll play William Seward, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, an outspoken abolitionist and a core member of Lincoln’s wartime cabinet. He joins Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The DreamWorks film has been set to begin production this fall in Virginia for a late 2012 release through Disney’s Touchstone label. Tony Kushner wrote the script based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and Kathleen Kennedy is producing with Spielberg. Strathairn won an Emmy for HBO’s Temple Grandin. He’s repped by ICM and Ryan Entertainment.
A slew of actors have joined Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman in the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn. The biopic, exec produced by James Gandolfini and directed by Phil Kaufman, recounts the tumultuous romance and subsequent marriage of literary master Ernest Hemingway (Owen) and up-and-coming war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Kidman), following them through the Spanish Civil War and beyond. David Strathairn, who just won an Emmy for another HBO biopic, Temple Grandin, will play famous American writer and Hemingway friend John Dos Passos. Molly Parker will play Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline. Parker Posey will play his fourth wife, Mary. Rodrigo Santoro will play play Zarra, a Spanish Loyalist and friend of Dos Passos. Lars Ulrich will play Joris Ivens, the Dutch documentarian of The Spanish Earth. Santiago Cabrera will portray famous war photographer Robert Capa. Saverio Guerra will play Hemingway’s close friend Sidney Franklin, and Peter Coyote will play his editor Maxwell Perkins. Diane Baker will play Martha’s mother, and Tony Shalhoub, who co-stars in HBO’s upcoming film Too Big to Fail, will play Koltsov, a Russian journalist and apparatchik. Hemingway & Gellhorn will premiere next year.
Voltage Pictures has nabbed the international rights to the introspective actors’ piece Maladies starring Academy Award nominee James Franco (127 Hours, Rise of the Apes, Spiderman). Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Into the Wild, Being John Malkovich), Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (The Whistleblower, The Bourne Ultimatum, L.A. Confidential), Emmy nominee Alan Cummings (X2, Spy Kids) and Fallon Goodson (BFF & Baby) co-star. The picture recently finished shooting in New York and is currently in post-production.
Maladies follows three people struggling to coexist together in a little house in a beach town, separated and bonded by their mental illnesses from the rest of the world. Franco plays a former actor whose schizophrenia forces him to leave his craft and remain only a shell of his former self. Keener supports his cross-dressing best friend whose struggle with her own gender identity precludes her from keeping the group together, and Goodson rounds out the trio as Franco’s sister whose mental detachment exacerbates the tensions already prevalent in the house.
Written and directed by Carter, Maladies is being produced under Franco’s production shingle RabbitBandini Productions by Miles Levy (Howl), Vince Jolivette (The Ape), Jeff Most (The Crow) and Marni Zelnick. The pic was acquired by Nadine de Barros for Voltage Pictures, and Elsa Ramo brokered the deal on behalf of the production.
Worldwide rights are available, and Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) of Voltage Pictures will be kicking off sales for the international rights at the European Film Market. Voltage
Two Similar Pilots: Syfy’s ‘Three Inches’ Faces Tweaks, Possible Half-Hour Conversion To Join ‘Alphas’ As New Series
It is usually a great problem for networks to have when all the pilots they’ve orderered come in strong. But, in the case of Syfy’s similarly-themed Alphas and Three Inches, it created a dilemma. Syfy had been looking to launch a series set in the world of real-life superheroes. To increase its chances of success, the network ordered two such pilots, Alphas and Three Inches, “that were slightly different in tone but very similar in subject matter,” said Syfy EVP original content Mark Stern. Alphas, from BermanBraun, in-house studio UCP, writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow and director Jack Bender, stars David Strathairn and follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Three Inches, from writer Harley Peyton, director Jace Alexander and Fox TV Studios, centers on an underachiever (Noah Reid) who can move any object three inches with his mind and recruits a team of fellow heroes. The hope was for one of the pilots to become a series.
Instead, unexpectedly for everyone at the network, “we found ourselves with 2 pilots that we loved,” Stern said. “They were both excellent and tested very well. Ultimately it came down to which pilot would work best as an hourlong franchise. We thought they both did but felt Alphas had a little bit more potential for that.”
So Syfy on Tuesday gave Alphas an 11-episode series pickup. But it is not giving up on Three Inches just yet and is looking …
UPDATED: It came down to the wire for Syfy’s two drama pilots about people with special abilities, Alphas and Three Inches, which were both in serious contention for a series pickup. Syfy just made its final decision, giving Alphas an 11-episode order in addition to the 90-minute pilot. Production is slated to begin in Toronto early next year for a summer 2011 debut.
Alphas, from BermanBraun, UCP and writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow, stars David Strathairn and follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Penn and BermanBraun’s Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are executive producing the series whose 90-minute pilot was directed by Lost director-producer Jack Bender. “With each step in the development and production of Alphas, we knew we were onto something very exciting,” said Syfy’s EVP original content Mark Stern. “Under Gail and Lloyd’s leadership, Zak and Michael created a smart, fast-paced script that attracted an amazing director in Jack Bender and an incredible cast.” Co-starring on Alphas are Warren Christie, Malik Yoba, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada. Meanwhile, it is not over yet for Three Inches. “Three Inches is a terrific project that we continue to be interested in,” Stern said. We are …
Samuel Goldwyn Films closed U.S. rights to The Whistleblower, the Rachel Weisz-starrer that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Larysa Kondracki directed the drama, which also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn. Weisz plays a cop who takes a peacekeeper job in post-war Bosnia and uncovers a sex trafficking scandal. Pic will be released in August. UTA Independent Film Group’s Rena Ronson brokered the deal. Here is a scene from the film that Deadline previewed at Toronto:
EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: The Whistleblower makes its Toronto premiere tomorrow. Deadline is providing a sneak peek at some of the footage. The film stars Rachel Weisz as Nebraska police officer who takes a job as a United Nations peackeeper assigned to post-war Bosnia. She uncovers a massive scandal and cover-up. Larysa Kondracki directs and Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Straitharn co-star. UTA is selling domestic and Nicolas Chartier is handling foreign.
EXCLUSIVE: David Strathairn is in negotiations for the lead in SyFy’s action-adventure 90-minute pilot Alphas, directed by Jack Bender. Additionally, Ryan Cartwright is set to co-star in the pilot, from BermanBraun and writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow. Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens possessing extraordinary and unusual mental skills who take the law into their own hands and uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. ICM-repped Strathairn would play the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives. Cartwright will play a member of the team who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. His Alpha ability allows him to “read” wireless transmissions passing through the ether – e-mails, cell phone communications, television signals, etc.