EMMYS: The Directors Race

By | Saturday August 25, 2012 @ 8:00pm PDT

Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor

Among the Emmy nominees for directing a drama series, comedy series, and movie/miniseries/special are numerous first-time nominees and several more with multiple noms looking for their first wins. What follows is a look at everyone’s chances:


Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire, “To the Lost” (HBO)

Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad, “Face Off” (AMC)

Brian Percival, Downton Abbey, “Episode 7” (PBS)

Michael Cuesta, Homeland, “Pilot” (Showtime)

Phil Abraham, Mad Men, “The Other Woman” (AMC)

If you were ever going to say that a guy is due for a win, it’s Van Patten. His Emmy pedigree includes 11 total nominations and five for The Sopranos. Yet his only win was as a supervising producer on the HBO mini The Pacific. Van Patten’s fellow directors could see this and feel like maybe it’s time.

On the other hand, it won’t be easy. Not with people like Vince Gilligan vying for the trophy. Gilligan was nominated for the same episode of Breaking Bad that earned him a DGA Award nom earlier this year. It’s “Face Off,” the fourth-season cliffhanger that found Giancarlo Esposito’s memorable villain Gustavo Fring having half of his face blown off, leading to a final adjustment of his tie moments before he collapses. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is direction. Read More »

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Who’ll Helm James Cameron’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’?

Mike Fleming

Now that the X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 directing job went to Darren Aronofsky, The Hunger Games was gobbled up by Gary Ross and Zack Snyder got the Superman job, there are only a couple films left that have directors hot and … Read More »

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HOT HELMING: With ‘Wolverine 2′ Job Filled At Fox, Next Big Directing Gig Is Lionsgate’s ‘Pride, Prejudice, Zombies’ With Scarlett

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: I’ve begun hearing directing candidates to replace David O Russell for Lionsgate’s Pride, Prejudice and Zombies: Mike Newell (Prince of Persia) is the early front runner, but they are still meeting filmmakers and I am hearing Descent’s Neil Marshall is in the mix. Details below.

EXCLUSIVE: One of Hollywood’s biggest directing gigs looks done. Darren Aronofsky’s deal to direct 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 is close enough that discussion has turned to shooting the sound stage portions of the film in New York so the filmmaker and Hugh Jackman don’t have to inconvenience their families. A March start date is being eyed so that Aronofsky has time to open Black Swan and be available for the inevitable awards season obligations. When the New York scenes are completed, they’ll head to Japan to shoot the bulk of the Christopher McQuarrie-scripted movie. Deadline told you last week that Aronofsky had set his sights on Wolverine after passing on the Warner Bros period crime drama Gangster Squad.

With the Wolverine job all but sealed, what’ll be the next hot job helmers will compete for? I’m told a lot of directors are lining up for Lionsgate’s Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, the Seth Grahame-Smith revisionist novel that enhances Jane Austen’s tale of class and manners in 19th Century England with the much-needed infusion of bloodthirsty brain-eating zombies. I’m told that after Natalie Portman backed out of playing Elizabeth Bennet, David O Russell had Scarlett Johansson ready to play the heroine and Bradley Cooper to play Mr. Darcy. Then, Russell himself left to focus on his collaboration with Vince Vaughn Old St. Louis and  Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune at Sony. Read More »

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Warner Bros/Legendary Land Jonathan Liebesman For 3D ‘Clash’ Sequel

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE: Warner Bros closed a deal late last night for Battle: Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman to direct Clash of the Titans 2. Production begins February 1 in the UK and possibly Iceland at a budget comparable to the $130 million spent on the original. I’d written yesterday about the ongoing talks that were stuck on money. Later in the day, they found a common ground–the studio came up with more dough. The sequel is a natural considering that the protagonists played by Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton survived, and the original grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. But Clash benefited by being one of the first major live action films to get a 3D retrofit. Read More »

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DGA Message To Members: Top Contract Issue Health & Pension Plans, Not Money

By | Saturday August 21, 2010 @ 2:09pm PDT

It looks increasingly like the Hollywood guilds are giving up before they even go into this 2010/2011 round of negotiations with the movie studios and TV networks. This message by 4-time Basic Agreement/FLTTA Negotiations Chair Gil Cates to 14,000 Directors Guild members talks about focusing on health and pension plans and doesn’t even mention demanding more New Media money from the AMPTP. This, despite the fact that Big Media is alive and well and even flourishing not just this quarter but in many cases for next quarter or even the entire year. (Every Studio & Network Boosted Earnings) For instance, Warner Bros’ home video revenue was down 8%, but revenue from digital distribution grew by a sizable 50% and now represents nearly 20% of the studio’s total home video pie. Yet the trickle down effect has been slow or nonexistent for Hollywood when it comes to this and every Big Media revenue stream.

What’s also interesting about Cates’ statement is that this notorious hater of the Writers Guild cozies up to the new SAG-AFTRA cooperation. So it’s clear what’s going to happen during this next round of negotiations: SAG-AFTRA make a quick and easy contract full of compromises and few gains. The DGA soon follows. Which leaves the WGA on its own – facing bogus Hollywood trade reports about impending strike action to create pressure from all the other guilds to hurry up and make a deal “so we all can go back to work”. In other words, capitulation.

Dear Members:

I’m honored to be serving as your Basic Agreement/FLTTA Negotiations Chair for the fourth time, and to be giving you the first update on the 2010/2011 negotiations cycle.

Read More »

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John McTiernan Pleads Guilty To Perjury And Faces Up To One Year In Prison

mctiernanjohn1MONDAY UPDATE: The film director pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to lying during the Pellicano investigation. John McTiernan entered the plea to two counts of making false statements to the FBI and one count of perjury for lying to a … Read More »

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Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ Man Signs With CAA

By | Monday July 12, 2010 @ 9:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Here is what happens when Steven Spielberg plucks you out of obscurity to play the lead in his next film. Jeremy Irvine, who makes his feature film debut as the lead in the Spielberg-directed War Horse, has signed with Spielberg’s agency, CAA. Irvine began his career at The National … Read More »

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Swiss Reject U.S. Extradition Of Polanski

polanski2The 76-year-old director of The Ghost Writer has been under house arrest in his Swiss chalet since December last year. The US wants him to face sentencing for a case dating back to 1977. The Polish director is wanted in the … Read More »

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‘Wicked’ To Cast Movie Spell For Universal: Creators Meeting With Hollywood Directors

Mike Fleming

100.0EXCLUSIVE: The smash hit stage musical Wicked is taking its first formative steps toward the movie screen. I’m told the musical’s producer Marc Platt, book writer Winnie Holzman, and songwriter Stephen Schwartz have begun meeting with filmmakers. Insiders confirm that JJ … Read More »

Comments 674

Barry Levinson Directs On Big Screen Again, Nick Cassavetes Acts, Jeff Bridges Walks

Mike Fleming

Some action on the feature front. Sony’s Columbia Pictures attached Barry Levinson to direct Brother Jack, a  Mosaic-produced drama based on the life of human rights activist Jack Healey. Harley Peyton wrote the script and Kelly Masterson is rewriting. Levinson’s got a little momentum from the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Read More »

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E1 To Produce & David Von Ancken To Direct AMC Pilot ‘Hell On Wheels’

Nellie Andreeva

E1logoEXCLUSIVE: E1 Entertainment has come on board to produce the AMC Western pilot Hell on Wheels. Endemol USA, which developed the project over the past two years, will executive produce. David Von Ancken (Californication) has signed on to direct the pilot, written … Read More »

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Spike Lee Sets Sights On ‘Nagasaki Deadline’ With Lightstorm And Alcon

Mike Fleming


UPDATE 11 AM: TOLDJA! Alcon just issued a press release. Looks like James Cameron won’t be taking the producer credit, but his Lightstorm team of Jon Landau and Rae Sanchini are still taking the lead on this. … Read More »

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URGENT! Now Peter Jackson Negotiating With Studios To Direct ‘The Hobbit’ Films

Mike Fleming

peter_jackson_king_kong_premiereUPDATED WRITE-THRU – EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to a dream come true for fans of Middle Earth, Peter Jackson has decided to direct two installments of The Hobbit, trusted sources are telling me. His deal is being … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Joel Schumacher’s ‘Twelve’

Mike Fleming

Director Joel Schumacher (St. Elmo’s Fire, Flatliners, The Lost Boys and A Time To Kill) is back at it with Twelve, an adaptation of Nick McDonell’s novel. Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford plays a drug dealer whose success comes at high price. The film’s released by Hannover House on August 6.

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Matt Damon Headed For ‘We Bought A Zoo’?

Mike Fleming

matt-damonBreaking News… Matt Damon is in early talks to star for director Cameron Crowe in 20th Century Fox’s We Bought a Zoo. Damon’s in talks to play a man who moves his family to England to operate a zoo. The script … Read More »

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’24′ Alum Jon Cassar Joins ‘Terra Nova’

Nellie Andreeva

Jon_CassarEXCLUSIVE: It will be an even larger 24 reunion on Fox’s upcoming prehistoric drama Terra Nova, which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin. Long-time 24 director-executive producer Jon Cassar has joined the 13-episode midseason series as an executive producer … Read More »

Comments (15)

Columbia Pictures Keeps ‘Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer In Fold With New Pic Deal

By | Tuesday June 22, 2010 @ 1:10pm PDT
Mike Fleming

ruben_fleischerColumbia Pictures has made another deal with its Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. The filmmaker has signed on to develop to direct Babe in the Woods, a Mike White-scripted comedy about a female freshman who arrives at Yale and is targeted by … Read More »

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Spain & BBC Take ‘Coriolanus’ From Icon

By | Monday June 21, 2010 @ 5:57am PDT

CoriolanusIt’s the first major European territory to be sold. The BBC is also taking Ralph Fiennes’ modern-day version of Shakespeare’s tragedy for UK TV, but no surprise there, given that Auntie is already co-financing and co-producing. Icon Entertainment International has already … Read More »

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WGA Approves Credit Revision Proposals

By | Friday June 18, 2010 @ 4:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

WGAE president Michael Winship and WGAW president John Wells announced that members overwhelmingly approved amendments to the Screen and Television Credits Manuals that make it easier for hyphenates to get screen credit. On the movie side, 85.7% of membership (1237 … Read More »

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