A heavy-hitter panel of Hollywood pros is going to pick a trailer for Christopher Golden’s upcoming horror novel, Snowblind. St. Martin’s Press, along with social marketers Talenthouse, has brought Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer, producers Frank Darabont and Don Murphy, Grudge scribe Stephen Susco and Golden himself on board to choose the winner from submissions by amateur filmmakers. The deadline is January 6. The victorious 1-minute trailer will be used as big part of the marketing of bestseller Golden’s first horror novel in more than a decade, the publisher says. Also the winning filmmaker is promised a sit-down with one of the judges, which is a pretty great way to get your foot in the Hollywood door. Snowblind details a devastated New England town coping with the scars of a fatal blizzard and a new one on the way. The novel is scheduled to be released on January 14,. No stranger to Hollywood, Golden, a former Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Hellboy novels scribe, has several projects in studio development.
St. Martin’s Sets David S. Goyer & Frank Darabont Among Judges For New Christopher Golden Novel Trailer Contest
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
When it comes to fanboy festivals, Atlanta’s DragonCon is a far cry from San Diego Comic-Con for sheer attendance and participation of Hollywood studios. But the festival has grown from the 1400 who attended its first festival in 1987 to a high of 52,000 last Labor Day weekend. It is a major moneymaking event for the city, with geek icons from Stan Lee to Patrick Stewart regularly making appearances.
The festival, which this year runs August 30-September 2, also has an albatross around its neck. One of its godfathers, Edward Kramer, was arrested in 2000 in Georgia and charged with three counts of child molestation involving two teenage brothers. Owing to a series of legal maneuvers and health issues, Kramer has never been tried in criminal court, and after finally being allowed to post bond in 2009, he was even free to travel. That was until he was arrested in Connecticut in 2011 on charges of “risk of injury to a minor” after being found in a hotel room with a 14 year old, a violation of his bond agreement. Extradited back to Georgia last month, he is awaiting trial on the original charges.
This cloud has hung over the festival for years, even though organizers have tried since 2001 to sever ties to Kramer. They even once reportedly offered him $500,000 to divest his ownership stake and go away, to no avail. Kramer owns 31% of the festival as a minority shareholder, and he reportedly pocketed $150,000 from the 2011 DragonCon. Now, a group led by horror author Nancy Collins and Transformers producer Don Murphy is saying enough is enough, urging creative professionals to boycott the festival if organizers can’t get rid of Kramer once and for all.
In the 1990s, Collins had a professional relationship with Kramer that included co-editing an anthology of horror stories and increasing involvement in DragonCon. She broke ties with Kramer shortly before his arrest in 2000 as a result of what she says was the inappropriate interest Kramer had toward her 12-year-old stepson. After Kramer’s arrest, Collins was among the first to speak publicly against him, a decision that led to schism in the community between Kramer’s defenders and those who believed the charges.
Collins has long contended that annual DragonCon revenue windfalls have enabled Kramer’s defense lawyers to delay trial indefinitely with an array of legal maneuvers. “No matter what DragonCon does or says,” she wrote when calling for the boycott, “funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name.” With Kramer’s recent extradition, Collins believes now is the time to pressure DragonCon to finally take action to cut ties to Kramer.
EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro’s Necropia Entertainment and Angryfilms’ Susan Montford and Don Murphy are teaming to option The Bloody Benders, a spec script by Adam Robitel. The scribe, a protege of Bryan Singer, based his script on the true story of the Benders, a husband, wife, son and daughter who ran a hotel in Kansas on the outskirts of the prairie in 1873. It might have been a precursor for the Bates Motel: As many as 20 guests checked in, and never checked out. The guests were robbed and murdered by their hosts, and the killers were never punished. ”It is a beautiful and brutal yet poetic story, based on a very famous case,” del Toro told me. “If you consider America back then, it was a great transition to modernity, but on the prairie, these were huge landscapes where people traveled and days and weeks on end would pass without communication. So nothing happens, then there is this brutal murder, and then it’s back to pastoral peace and quiet. That rhythm was very attractive to me.”
EXCLUSIVE: Sabrina The Teenage Witch is getting a makeover at Sony Pictures. The precocious teen witch who originated in 60s Archie Comics, is being recast as a superhero. The live action film will be an origin story in the vein of Spider-Man, about a young girl coming to terms with her remarkable powers.
Scribes Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (they wrote Die In A Gunfight for MRC) will write the script, and Real Steel producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford are producing. Mark Waters, who worked on the presentation that Sony Pictures sparked to, might direct depending on scheduling. Archie Comics’ Jon Goldwater will be executive producer and screenwriter Jeff Stockwell, who also worked on the presentation, will be co-producer.
Sabrina previously had been turned into animated tv series in 1969, 1971 and again in 1999 and the source material was turned into the Melissa Joan Hart sitcom that ran seven seasons. While the tone of the movie will be edgier, they are keeping her talking black cat Salem, who here is a transformed prince creating unique love stories for Sabrina. The project is a priority for the studio with Doug Belgrad and Hannah Minghella fast tracking the negotiations.
“We mentioned it in a meeting to Amy Pascal who chimed in “I’m the little witch girl,’” Murphy and Montford said. “From then on we knew it was the right home.” They added that the popularity of the brand should allow for the studio …
HOLLYWOOD, CA (August 3, 2011) – Worldwide box office receipts for TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, have hit $1 billion, Paramount Pictures announced today. To date, the third installment of the hit Transformers franchise, and the first shot in 3-D, has grossed $338 million in U.S. (through Monday) and $663 million internationally (through Tuesday).
“TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is the first billion dollar grossing movie in the history of Paramount Pictures, marking a substantial milestone in the 99 year life of this legendary studio,” said Brad Grey, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures. “We are grateful for the extraordinary work of Michael Bay and his film-making team, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and everyone at Paramount around the globe who played a part in helping make this latest TRANSFORMERS one of the 10 highest grossing films worldwide of all time.”
Producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford, who are coming off Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the upcoming Shawn Levy-directed Hugh Jackman-starrer Real Steel, have signed a deal with Cartoon Network to develop a live-action adventure theatrical feature based on Captain Planet. He’s the animated Ted Turner-created environment-saving hero who was first introduced in the cartoon series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Murphy and Montford will develop the film under their Angry Films banner. “We are extremely excited about bringing the good captain back to life,” said Murphy, who added the intention is to make a series of films. “[The Captain's] adventures are known worldwide and he is recognized across generations.” The news follows last month’s announcement of a similar Cartoon Network deal with producer Joel Silver for a movie based on the Ben 10 animated series.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney doesn’t release Real Steel until Oct. 7, but already DreamWorks is getting the machinery moving on a sequel to the Shawn Levy-directed drama that stars Hugh Jackman. I’m told the studio has commissioned John Gatins, who scripted the first film, to start on the second installment. It’s unusual to see that occur so early, but I can recall it happening when Warner Bros commissioned a Hangover sequel after early tests showed the movie was going to be a big hit. Development on the sequel’s just getting under way, and deals will have to be made with Jackman and Levy. Gatins is repped by UTA.
DreamWorks has gotten strong response to internal screenings of the film, and at a CinemaCon presentation of footage in Las Vegas. The film is a Rocky-meets-Transformers tale of a prize fighter whose pugilistic skills are rendered obsolete when human boxers are replaced by robots. The fighter (Jackman) becomes a boxing promoter and finds a discarded robot that wins and wins. The fighter also discovers he has a 13-year old son, who comes along for the ride as the robot heads toward the top against scary competition.
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.