EXCLUSIVE: Sheldon Turner has been hired by New Regency and Ubisoft to write a new draft of Splinter Cell, turning this video game adaptation into a reunion of another movie that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll explain. Turner wrote the Sony Pictures film Everest, about the attempt by George Mallory to be first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Doug Liman is set to direct that film and Tom Hardy is starring in it. But the picture got postponed after another film called Everest took the hill first, this one about a 1996 climb that turned deadly when a blizzard hit just as the climbers were about to reach the top. Universal Pictures, Working Title and Cross Creek are in production right now, with Sam Worthington and Robin Wright recently joining Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Emily Watson and Thomas Wright in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film.
Even though they didn’t get to the start line on the project, Hardy, Liman and Turner must have had a good collaboration as they prepared. Hardy, who has long been attached as Splinter Cell star, first brought in Liman and now they’ve enlisted Turner. They will get this new version ready to shoot in August. American Hustle‘s Eric Warren Singer wrote the most recent draft. Turner is then scheduled to direct Borderland at Relativity. The hope … Read More »
Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fi actioner Edge Of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, a neophyte officer who is dropped into combat to battle an alien race that has hit Earth in an unrelenting assault. Killed within minutes, Cage finds himself thrown into a Groundhog Day-type time loop, living out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying — over and over again. Emily Blunt is the Special Forces warrior who joins Cruise in the fight. Warner Bros and Village Roadshow release the pic June 6.
New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures have found a director for the movie adaptation of the vidgame series Splinter Cell. Pic will be helmed by Doug Liman. The film’s being produced by Basil Iwanyk and it will star Tom Hardy, whom New Regency president/CEO Brad Weston and Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet confirmed they’d attached to star in a script by Eric Warren Singer. Liman just helmed the Tom Cruise-starrer Edge Of Tomorrow for Warner Bros. John Julian is producing with Dave Bartis and Liman. Production will start in August and the film will be released in 2015.
Hardy, who’s coming off The Dark Knight Rises and wrapped Mad Max: Fury Road, will play Sam Fisher, a highly-trained special operative in a fictional black-ops sub-division, “Echelon”. Sam Fisher and the agents of Echelon utilize combat skills, weapons and cutting-edge gadgets to neutralize international terrorist threats and rogue forces in modern, realistic stories ripped from the headlines. Liman met Hardy because they are working together on another project, Everest, about the attempts of George Mallory to be first to scale the mountain.
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman has signed with CAA. Liman had followed his longtime agent Adam Kanter to Resolution, but has returned to the CAA fold. Liman, who left his TV business at CAA, will be repped in all areas. The helmer, whose big credits include Mr. And Mrs. Smith, most recently completed Edge Of Tomorrow, the science fiction film for Warner Bros that stars Tom Cruise. He’s next committed to direct the recently retitled Sony Pictures historical film The Summit, which is slated to begin production in mid-March. That is the Sheldon Turner-scripted story of George Mallory, the famous British mountaineer who rallied a nation with his attempts to conquer Everest before his Australian rival George Finch. This has gone a couple different ways in casting, but now it looks like Tom Hardy might well play Mallory (he was first choice but temporarily dropped due to scheduling) and that Luke Evans might play Finch. That pic is being produced by Jennifer Klein, Liman and David Bartis.
Coming off April’s Oblivion, Tom Cruise stars in Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fier as an officer in a brutal alien war who becomes stuck in a time loop and is forced to re-live the same combat mission over and over. Emily Blunt is the lethal soldier who helps Cruise become a warrior while he’s trapped in his Groundhog Day-style existential crisis. WB and Village Roadshow release Edge of Tomorrow on June 6. Check out the first trailer for the pic formerly known as All You Need Is Kill:
The latest project in development at Starz joins recent additions WonderWorld, an hourlong scripted drama from Owen Wilson, Rene Balcer, Fred Berner, and Regina Lee about two straight-arrow FBI agents who infiltrate the violent Mob-controlled porn industry of the 1980s; and Most Wanted, a drama project from writer Chris Collins, director Ken Fink and author Dan Chaon. Set in the Great Plains during the 1970s, it traces the rise and demise of Nate Daniels, a talented and prolific bank robber who finds himself on a collision course with his family and crew as he becomes one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. The pay network recently promoted Melissa Harper and Richter Hartig to SVPs in Original Programming Production who had been credited with the increase in original programming production in their roles as VPs. Here’s today’s release:
Beverly Hills, Calif. – November 5, 2013 – Starz Managing Director, Carmi Zlotnik, announced today that STARZ has put into development a new half-hour scripted dramedy, “Heartbeats,” from Hypnotic’s Doug Liman and Dave Bartis, Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and writers Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan. “Heartbeats” is an intimate glimpse into the constantly intersecting and diverging lives of Bobby and Kristen; two down-to-Earth individuals who would be perfect for each other, if only they had met at a different time. “Heartbeats” will explore their story with an episode format that focuses alternatingly on Bobby and Kristen.
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Doug Liman is in talks with Fox and producers Ridley Scott and Simon Kinberg to direct Narco Sub, the script by David Guggenheim. The plot: After a captain’s son is kidnapped by a drug cartel, he is blackmailed into piloting a broken down rebuilt sub from South America to the U.S., carrying 20 tons of cocaine. Sounds a bit like Captain Phillips. Scott and Michael Schaeffer will produce with Kinberg. Resolution is working on Liman’s deal.
EXCLUSIVE: Just over a week after Adam Kanter left CAA for Jeff Berg’s Resolution, Bourne Identity director Doug Liman has joined his longtime motion picture agent at the new firm. Liman is staying with CAA for TV. The Mr. And Mrs. Smith director is currently helming All You Need Is Kill with Tom Cruise for Warner Bros. After that, he has Everest lined up at Sony Pictures with Tom Hardy attached to play climber George Mallory; Liman is also a producer along with his Hypnotic partner David Bartis and Jennifer Klein. On the TV side, Liman is one of the executive producers of USA Network’s legal drama Suits, which was renewed in October for a third season. Liman and Bartis are also exec producers on USA’s Covert Affairs, which was renewed for a fourth season in September. With all that going on, it makes sense Liman would stay with CAA for TV at least for the time being — Resolution isn’t set up for that yet.
Related: Jeff Berg’s Resolution Expands International Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has acquired the Olen Steinhauer series of books The Tourist, Nearest Exit and An American Spy, and the studio has attached Doug Liman to direct. Liman will produce with Dave Bartis, his partner in Hypnotic. Matt Corman and Chris Ord, co-creators and executive producers of Covert Affairs, will write the script. Liman and Bartis produce the USA Network series. The books revolve around Milo Weaver, a burned-out spy for a clandestine U.S. intelligence agency that battles global organized crime, terrorists and the like. Just when he has finally found some happiness, an investigation into the death of a hired killer he’d been hunting threatens to ruin everything. Read More »
Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right Productions’ Elliot Abbott and S2BN Entertainment’s Michael Cohl are working on a trio of films.
* Oscar-winning Precious scribe Geoffrey Fletcher is scripting Attica, with Doug Liman attached to direct a look at the 1971 Attica state prison riot, the bloodiest prison uprising in U.S. history.
* Ed Lucas– Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are scripting a film inspired by a true story in Sports Illustrated about a blind sports writer known for his work with the New York Yankees. Stanley Tucci is attached to play Lucas, a blind, single father.
* The Retaliator- Stan Lee and Gill Champion of POW! Entertainment hatch a new superhero. Chosen by the Ancients and awarded the powers of the elements, this once ordinary man must protect the Earth against those who abuse and destroy its ecosystem. Jim Hart and Jake Hart are writing.
Doug Liman is putting together a documentary entitled Reckoning With Torture: Memos And Testimonies From The War On Terror. The American Civil Liberties Union and the PEN American Center are expected to announce their collaboration with Liman tomorrow. The script for the feature-length documentary is compiled from documents on prisoner abuse and torture, according to the New York Times. Some documents were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and footage will consist of user-submitted videos of readings of these documents. The director of The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Fair Game said he has undertaken the project to raise awareness about real-life violence, politics and torture. But he claims he doesn’t have a political agenda. “If you just read these documents, they don’t need editorializing,” Liman told the Times. “It’s not a Democrat or a Republican thing. It’s a moral issue, it’s an issue of what it means to be an American and what we stand for as a country.”
BREAKING: Tom Cruise is ready to roll on All You Need Is Kill. He’s committing to the film, and Warner Bros is speeding it toward production as fast as it can with Doug Liman directing the Dante Harper script that has been rewritten by Joby Harold. Cruise will have to square that with a commitment to star in the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion, which has Jessica Chastain playing one of the two female leads, and Universal testing a small list of actresses for the other role in the futuristic apocalyptic tale. I believe Oblivion will be his next film and that All You Need Is Kill will follow.
Kill is a project Cruise has been mulling for months and now they are sorting out the schedule for an actor who certainly has regained his leading-man mojo. He’ll next be seen in Rock Of Ages, and is shooting the Christopher McQuarrie-directed One Shot, though he’s right now on an international tour for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman has climbed aboard Everest, a Sony Pictures drama about George Mallory and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain. The film, an adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths Of Glory, has a script by Sheldon Turner. Jennifer Klein is producing. Liman has several projects percolating, including Luna, a moon mission film that Paramount Pictures and New Regency are trying to make work, as well as Warner Bros’ Dante Harper-scripted drama All You Need Is Kill. Liman, who directed the action hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is himself an avid climber and a fan of the Mallory story. He is in the midst of a deal to supervise the next draft by Turner with the intention to direct a film that is a priority at Sony Pictures. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A major shake up is taking place at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency. Co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will not renew their contracts when they expire in December. I’ve confirmed with Harper that he and Parker are negotiating their exits. There had recently been a ripple of rumors about this, and there will be the inevitable speculation over whether the duo are jumping before being pushed. Harper didn’t get into that, but said that he was confirming because he and Parker were aware of the rumors and were most concerned with reassuring filmmakers with Regency projects that the duo would continue to be closely involved and see those films through to release. Harper also said the decision came after months of conversations with Milchan over whether or not to renew. Recently, they came to the conclusion that this was the best course. Milchan could conceivably name a replacement quickly, but Harper told me that he and Parker will continue to see through the completed films as well as some of the projects that are gearing up for production starts, regardless of how quickly the succession takes place.
Harper had been in the job for four years (he moved from the post of vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has worked for Fox since 1986), and Parker had been in the post for more than three years (he moved over from the post of 20th Century Fox vice chairman, and had been with the studio 13 years when he took the job). They have been involved in every facet of New Regency films, including production, marketing, distribution and administering the library. Harper said it is unclear what will happen next year, and that he and Harper haven’t solidified their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they remain on the Fox lot as producers or in some other capacity. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ Hypnotic has tapped former Fox VP Lindsay Sloane as development executive. Additionally, the company has extended its overall deal with Universal Cable Prods. for another year. Hypnotic already has several new projects in the works, including 2 dramas at USA, Silent Partner, from Leverage creator Chris Downey, and Winslow, from Zak Schwartz (Covert Affairs).
At Hypnotic, Sloane will work with Liman, Bartis, and Gene Klein, focusing on developing new series targeted for UCP-affiliated networks USA and Syfy as well as broadcast nets. The hire of Sloane, who was previously VP original scripted series at USA, comes on the heels of Hypnotic forgoing development this past year for the first time in its history upon request from UCP. The decision not to develop came last summer when Hypnotic’s freshman USA series Covert Affairs was renewed and two of the company’s other projects, Suits (then A Legal Mind) at USA and I Want My Pants Back at MTV, were greenlighted to pilot, so Bartis, Liman and Klein focused on production of the 3 projects for UCP. The development hiatus was supposed to be temporary but “I wasn’t counting on both pilots getting picked up to series,” Bartis said. “We have 3 shows coming up, and it was not possible for the 3 of us to do 3 shows and develop at the same time.” That’s when UCP stepped in. “We told them, we don’t want to hold you back. Let’s keep the quality strong and bring an executive to keep developing new projects,” said USA co-president and UCP co-head Jeff Wachtel. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MTV has picked up drama pilot I Just Want My Pants Back to series, the latest addition to the cable network’s rapidly expanding portfolio of scripted original series. The project, based on the book by David Rosen, is a co-production with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ Hypnotic and Universal Cable Prods. Described as an youthful romantic dramedy set in New York City, Pants, which was adapted for TV by Rosen, centers on 22-year-old Jason Strider and his friends who grapple with dating, romance and becoming adults. This has been a passion project for Liman who had worked on it for years. It was originally developed for NBC through UMS where Hypnotic was based. Through their relationship with UCP where they executive produce USA’s Covert Affairs, Liman and Bartis brought the script to the studio. It was then taken to MTV, which greenlighted it to pilot with Liman directing, his first pilot directing gig in more than 3 years. In addition to directing the pilot and executive producing the series, Liman will direct several more episodes. In the end, Pants “found its right home,” MTV’s head of programming David Janollari said. “It has an amazing, authentic 20-something voice, feels contemporary and relatable and will connect with our audience.”
This marks UCP’s first series for a non-NBCU … Read More »
Doug Liman has come aboard as presenter of The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman, a Mandarin-language film that was made for China by Fox International Productions but will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Chinese filmmaker Wuershan, the film has the kind of visual stylized martial arts action that could give it a shot to break out beyond China, where it will be released this fall.
Sanford Panitch, who left New Regency to run the Fox that is generating local language films for territories that include China, Korea, Spain, India and Russia, worked with Liman when he was a New Regency exec on Mrs. and Mrs. Smith and Jumper. He showed the film to the director and Liman wanted to get involved.
Liman, who’ll follow Fair Game with the Japanese novel adaptation All You Need Is Kill for Warner Bros, sparked to the Chinese film and will help promote it as it plays in Toronto’s Midnight Madness program. “Wuershan’s debut movie is so wildly imaginative, it changed my perception of China as a whole,” Liman said. “It is a thrill to present this first time Chinese director to the international community.” The film follows the journey of a mystical blade as it passes through the hands of three different men. They find its power to be double-edged. It gets them their wildest desires, but also has the power to corrupt. The … Read More »
Daily Variety reporting that Doug Liman will direct Warner Bros manga adaptation All You Need Is Kill. Deadline told you it was headed that way on June 15.