The final pieces have fallen into place for WB’s big screen Entourage movie. Three years after the HBO series ended its eight-year run all main cast members are back as Deadline has reported, including Kevin Connolly, …
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Ellin has signed to rewrite and possibly direct Bad Santa 2, the sequel to the 2003 R-rated classic black comedy that starred Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, along with the late Bernic Mac and John Ritter. Ellin rewrites a script by Johnny Rosenthal. The picture resides at Miramax, and Geyer Kosinski is producing it through his Media Talent Group banner. Some things need to fall into place for this one. Ellin, for one, has turned in his script for the movie version of the hit HBO series Entourage and is waiting to see when he will direct it. Ellin has started on Bad Santa 2, though.
Thornton wants to make the film in the fall after he completes London Fields, starring opposite Amber Heard. That Mathew Cullen-directed film is casting, with offers out to actors including Alexander Skarsgard. That film will begin production September 9, with Chris Hanley’s Muse producing with Media Talent, financed by Demarest Films. Bad Santa 2 will follow.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Entourage’ Movie Screenplay Finally Completed By Creator Doug Ellin; Picks Up 6 Months After TV Series Left Off
EXCLUSIVE: The Entourage bad boys are almost back. Exactly one year ago, the HBO series ended its eighth and final season with soap opera schmaltz but also a Hollywood cliffhanger: agent Ari Gold as a newly minted studio mogul. That obviously set up the movie which Entourage creator Doug Ellin wanted to write one day. Well, I can now report that’s sooner rather than later: Ellin is on page 110 of his screenplay and “gonna finish by Sunday (I pray)”, he emails me. Ellin notes that no one wants to see the movie greenlighted by HBO more than the series’ WME packaging agent Ari Emanuel (the prototype for Gold) and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson. Ellin says that Wahlberg keeps promising “to kill me if I don’t write faster. Every time I see him, Mark says, ‘I’ve made 5 movies this year. Get going!”
Ellin explains that he first needed time off after spending “10 years of my life” on the TV series that premiered on HBO in 2004. In the meantime, Ellin is under an overall deal at HBO and continued to develop for the pay cable network. He did an HBO comedy pilot starring Ed Burns that wasn’t picked up. Ellin and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz also developed another HBO project, the boxing drama Da Brick, with Spike Lee and Mike Tyson and John Ridley. When Ellin got down to penning the Entourage screenplay, he told me he felt “renewed momentum”.
He says his script starts about 6 months after the TV series leaves off. “There are interesting developments about Ari as a studio head, and that’s still the first page for me. But foremost is the friendship between the guys who are still hanging out and going to fun parties, and it continues with the same characters.”
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: The Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli and former Heroes star Adrian Pasdar round out the lead cast of Doug Ellin’s HBO pilot 40. The two join previously cast Ed Burns and Michael Rapaport in the single-camera ensemble comedy, which revolves around four lifelong friends who help each other navigate life at 40, which isn’t all they expected it to be. Burns plays a married guy and a father who used to work at Bear Stearns making more than $2 million a year but has now been out of work for almost a year. Rapaport plays another friend, also married, who is described as a neurotic everyman. Imperioli plays a single guy, a hustler who is shameless when it comes to self-promotion. Pasdar plays the fourth of the buddies, a Wall Street millionaire. Also cast in the pilot is Susan Misner, who guest stars in the premiere of CBS’ Person of Interest tonight. She will play Burns’ character’s wife.
After a long search, newcomer John Boyega (Attack the Block) has landed the lead in HBO’s newly picked up drama pilot Da Brick, from Spike Lee, John Ridley, Doug Ellin and Mike Tyson. Boyega will play the …
HBO Picks Up Boxing Drama ‘Da Brick’ To Pilot; Doug Ellin, Spike Lee, Mike Tyson And John Ridley Executive Produce
EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Da Brick is a go at HBO. I hear the pay cable network has handed out a pilot order to the drama project about a young boxer from Entourage creator Doug Ellin, filmmaker Spike Lee, former boxing champion Mike Tyson and writer John Ridley. Ridley wrote the script for the pilot, which will be directed by Lee. Set in current-day Newark, NJ, nicknamed “brick city,” Da Brick is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth. Search is under way for a young black actor to play the lead.
Da Brick stems from Tyson’s 2010 guest appearance on Ellin’s HBO comedy Entourage, a series inspired by executive producer Mark Wahlberg’s early years in Hollywood. “That’s when Mike asked me, why don’t we do with my life what we did with Mark’s life,” Ellin told me back in June, when Da Brick was still in development. “The initial idea was ‘Entourage meets The Wire,’ an edgy story about an up-and-coming boxer and his crew that is much more dramatic than Entourage.” While it was not a series Ellin felt he would write, he and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz decided to develop and produce it through their company. Lefkowitz brought in Ridley who, in turn, brought in Lee, with whom he had been developing a movie about the L.A. riots. Ellin, Lefkowitz, Ridley, Lee and Tyson are executive producing Da Brick, with Tyson’s wife Lakiha Tyson and Azim Spicer, CEO of Las Vegas’ SpiceReel Prods, co-executive producing.
How is this for intriguing mix of creative auspices — filmmaker Spike Lee, former boxing champion Mike Tyson and Entourage creator Doug Ellin have come together to produce a drama series project for HBO, written by John Ridley and to be directed by Lee. The project, titled Da Brick, is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth. Is its set in current-day Newark, NJ, nicknamed “brick city.” While the project is still in development, HBO has hired a casting director to explore casting choices for the lead, looking for young black actors who are also credible in the boxing ring.
Tyson appeared in a 2010 episode of Ellin’s HBO comedy series Entourage, playing himself. The original germ of an idea for Da Brick came out of a meeting the two had on the set of the veteran comedy, which was inspired by Mark Wahlberg’s early years in Hollywood. “That’s when Mike asked me, why don’t do with my life what we did with Mark’s life,” Ellin said. “The initial idea was ‘Entourage meets The Wire‘, an edgy story about an up-and-coming boxer and his crew that is much more dramatic than Entourage.”
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
The long-running HBO comedy series Entourage will end its run on the network next summer with 6 episodes. Then showrunner Doug Ellin will consider turning it into a possible film featuring the existing cast. The announcement was made this afternoon at HBO’s …