EXCLUSIVE: After spirited bidding from multiple studios, Fox 2000 is wrapping up a deal for The Longest Ride, the next novel by Safe Haven author Nicholas Sparks. I’m told the deal is worth $5 million upfront, which is consistent with what Sparks usually gets for his movie deals. Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen will produce with Sparks and Theresa Park. They were the producers on Safe Haven. The book went out when A Safe Haven was released last weekend, and it came down in the end to Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000, Warner Bros and Relativity Media. While my brain is squarely in Oscar mode, by my count this is far and away the biggest book deal this year and for that matter in quite awhile.
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 14, 2012) __ Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler has renewed her deal with the Studio, it was announced today by Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Among the many notable pictures she has overseen at Fox 2000 Pictures are: “Walk the Line,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Marley & Me,” the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” pictures (which have grossed over a billion dollars worldwide), “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Water For Elephants” and the upcoming “Life of Pi,” helmed by Ang Lee, from the publishing phenomenon and Booker Prize winner, “Guernsey,” directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on the best-selling novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters,” the sequel to the company’s hit fantasy-adventure, based on the publishing phenomenon by Rick Riordan.
Gabler’s career at the Studio also encompasses oversight of the seminal blockbusters “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Waiting to Exhale,” and “Cast Away.”
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos stated: “For the past twelve years, Elizabeth’s savvy, vision and taste has taken Fox 2000 Pictures to a level of success and accomplishment that exceeded our already high expectations. We couldn’t be happier that she will continue to lead the division in the years ahead.”
Concurrently, Jessica Goodman has joined Fox 2000 Pictures as executive vice president, production, and Marisa Paiva has been promoted from creative executive to director of development.
Goodman arrives at Fox from Warner
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken is leaving the studio to become president of production for New Regency. It is the latest move in a restructuring of the company since Arnon Milchan reemerged as an active chairman and installed former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston as CEO with a mandate to become a more filmmaker-driven concern.
New Regency is partly owned by News Corp, whose 20th Century Fox distributes and often co-finances Regency-generated films. The move was orchestrated with the cooperation of Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.
“Jim, Tom and Liz have been great partners and are incredibly gracious about Carla,” Weston told me in confirming the move. “They see this as a terrific opportunity for her, and a great way to help support New Regency. Arnon and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Hacken was an ICM agent when she was brought into the Fox 2000 fold 15 years ago by Laura Ziskin. She has worked closely with Gabler and developed such films as Unfaithful, The Devil Wears Prada, Walk The Line, Bride Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Love & Other Drugs and In Her Shoes.
There has long been a tradition of cross pollination between Fox and New Regency (which is based on the lot). That includes Sanford Panitch (who moved from Fox to Regency and now steers Fox International Productions) …
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Stone is in negotiations to star in He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, a comedy spec script that Fox 2000 bought two weeks ago. The studio and Stone’s reps are going through the deal making gyrations, but signs are positive. A commitment by the hot young actress in town would be the latest development in a surreal month for the script’s 29-year old writer, Lauryn Kahn. After spending four years as Adam McKay’s assistant, she leaves the job tomorrow to write scripts full time. Exiting the $40,000 a year job seems less daunting after she landed $1 million against $1.5 million for He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, her very first feature screenplay.
The comedy focuses on a social media savvy girl who is pessimistic about love and vets her friends’ dates to find flaws. When that process leads her to uncover the perfect guy, she decides to use her internet research skills to turn herself into his perfect match. The film will be produced by Gary Sanchez’s McKay and Will Ferrell. The Gary Sanchez team helped her hone the script and gave her notes to help shape it.
The script wasn’t even supposed to be shopped. It was sent by Gary Sanchez directly to Stone, in hopes she would become attached. Then it leaked and got passed around the development community. Suddenly, Fox 2000 was among four studios making bids, and Gary Sanchez and Kahn’s …
Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000, one of the more prolific studio book buyers, has closed a deal for screen rights on Delirium, the Lauren Oliver novel which hit the New York Times bestseller list for childrens books in its first week of release. At the same time, Fox 2000 has a first look on all future books written by Oliver, and has signed a first look deal with Paper Lantern Lit, the company that Oliver co-founded, for titles generated under that banner. Delirium is set in a dystopian world where love is treated as a curable disease and compassion and affection are forbidden weaknesses. The book was originally optioned by producer Paula Mazur and Miami bookseller Mitchell Kaplan through their Mazur Kaplan Company.
Oliver wrote Before I Fall, the story of a high school girl who relives her last day on earth. That book was adapted for Fox 2000 by Maria Maggenti and is being produced by Jon Shestack. Fox 2000’s Carla Hacken is supervising both projects.
Oliver hatched Paper Lantern Lit last year with Lexa Hillyer, specializing in fiction for young readers. They’ve set up 13 books so far.
EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that’s high six-figure against 7-figures, Fox 2000 has acquired Pure, the first of a three-novel series by Julianna Baggott. The film will be produced by Karen Rosenfelt, who is one of the producers on the Twilight Saga series and whose Fox 2000 projects include The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me. The book created wild buzz this week, and last night, it looked like DreamWorks was going to get it. By this morning, Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 took it off the table this morning by buying all three books. Fox 2000 exec Rodney Ferrell brought it in. I’m told that Pure is a dystopic tale about an apocalyptic event that creates two classes of people. The underclass consists of those who were scarred, and the “Pures” are those who were untouched and live separate from the others. The movie deal occurs before an auction for publishing rights that has been scheduled for Tuesday by New York-based lit agent Nat Sobel. Manager Justin Manask, who handled the film deal with attorney Marcy Morris, distributed watermarked copies of the script to 6 producers earlier this week. Reaction to the manuscript was strong. Baggot wrote The Anybodies and co-authored Which Brings Me To You, which is being turned into an Anonymous Content-produced feature scripted by Keith Bunin, with Suzanne Bier set to direct.
EXCLUSIVE AND UPDATED: Fox 2000 has beat out Universal Pictures by paying north of $2 million for a pitch by Susannah Grant and rights to songs from the Beach Boys song catalogue that will form the basis for an original musical that Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, and John Stamos (who used to regularly sit in with the band in more modern times) will produce. The template for the film is to do with the Beach Boys songs what the global blockbuster Mamma Mia! did with Abba. This is not a biopic of the famous musical group; instead the Beach Boys serve as a backdrop for an original narrative. According to the log line: “The story takes place in Southern California over a summer in the 60′s. It’s inspired by the sounds of the Beach Boys music and the beach culture of that time.” Much like Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried belted out Abba tunes in Mamma Mia!, the idea will be to pack the film with a cast that will sing Beach Boys standards. The 2 studios bid hard on the original musical and I heard both tendered 7-figure bids for Grant’s pitch. The trio of producers already teamed The Beach Boys: An American Family, a biographical ABC miniseries about the band.
Considering how much Beach Boys tunes are indelibly linked to movies that include American Graffiti to Love Actually (how perfect was the tune God Only Knows in the …