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Big Management Move: The Gotham Group And Principal Entertainment LA Join Forces

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a major move that links two highly compatible management companies, The Gotham Group and Principal Entertainment Los Angeles are joining forces. The managers at Principal will move from Westwood into the Gotham headquarters on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on April 1. I’m told this is not exactly a merger, as the entities will continue to operate under their established names. But they will cross-collateralize their assets to make things happen. The fact that Principal is moving into The Gotham Group’s space indicates there could be a more permanent partnership down the line.

The linkup was set by Gotham Group founder/CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Principal partners Marsha McManus, Larry Taube and Liz Robinson. Gotham vets Lindsay Williams and Lee Stollman will help in facilitating the teaming up of the companies. Gotham is repped by CAA. Read More »

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Robert Zemeckis Sets Writers For ‘Garden Gnome Attack’ Film

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chad Damiani and JP Lavin have just been hired to adapt How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack for Robert Zemeckis and his Imagemovers banner. The film is a live action film (the garden gnomes will be animated), based on the Chuck Sambuchino novel, which was optioned by Sony Pictures Animation. Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey are producing with The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson. The book is a survival guide, preparing the homeowner on the off chance the lawn ornaments stage a home invasion. The intention is to make an edgy PG-13 version, so the gnomes will be scary. Zemeckis is developing the film as a potential directing vehicle. The scribes’ most recent credit is Max Steel for Paramount and producer Joe Roth, and they adapted the comic book Geronimo for producers Alexandra Milchan and Antonio Moura Santos Jr. The writers are repped by WME and Luber/Roklin.

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Dimension Acquires Rights To Comedy Guidebook ‘How To Defeat Your Own Clone’

Dimension Films has acquired rights to the comedy guidebook How to Defeat Your Own Clone. Ed Ricourt, who wrote the feature treatment, is set to adapt the script. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson of The Gotham Group are producing, Gotham’s Peter McHugh is exec producing and Matthew Stein and Matthew Singer are overseeing for Dimension. The book, written by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson, takes a humorous look at the possible ramifications of human cloning, and how one can outsmart and defeat your genetically engineered self if the need arises. The film would center on a clone-dominated society and one man’s quest to turn the tide back in favor of humans. “I’m excited to be working with Gotham and Ed Ricourt and feel this story has a fun and unique take on cloning that will be an entertaining movie for audiences,” Bob Weinstein said. Ricourt, who was part of the Marvel writing program, has his script Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg and directed by Louis Leterrier, in preproduction with Summit Entertainment. He is repped by CAA and The Gotham Group.

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Mob Movie Mania: Relativity Buys ‘Ness/Capone’ As Other Pics Percolate

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: At a time when organized crime films are back in vogue, Relativity Media’s Ryan Kavanaugh is wetting his beak. He’s acquired Ness/Capone, a Grant Pierce Myers script that made the 2010 Black Script and puts a new spin on the epic battle between Eliot Ness and Al Capone during the Prohibition Era 1920s. That battle was famously chronicled in the Brian DePalma-directed movie based on the TV series The Untouchables. Myers went back to the history books and came away with a much different version of Ness. While Kevin Costner played him as an incorruptible married choirboy who had to be taught to meet the mob on its own crooked terms, Ness/Capone’s Ness is a skirt-chasing 26-year old publicity hound who seemed to get an adrenaline charge out of courting danger, kicking in doors, smashing moonshine stores and rubbing it in the noses of Capone and other mobsters. He paraded confiscated bootleg trucks past Capone’s hotel, calling Capone in advance to suggest he look out the window. Deals are still being worked out, but the film will be produced by Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell along with Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Virgin Produced’s Jason Felts and Rene Rigal.

This puts Relativity Media in another potential pic race (it has already gone to the mattresses against Universal over rival Snow White films). Warner Bros has its own Capone project, the Walon Green-scripted Cicero, an origin story. I’ve reported that the project has interest from David Yates when he resurfaces from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, his fourth and final Potter pic. Warner Bros also is going gangbusters on Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed pic that has Sean Penn negotiating to play L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as the cops who try to bring him down. Read More »

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Catherine Hardwicke Circles ‘The Maze Runner’

Mike Fleming

Catherine Hardwicke is in talks with 20th Century Fox to helm The Maze Runner, an adaptation of the James Dashner young adult novel. Thomas is a teenager who one day finds himself trapped in an enclosed environment along with 60 others. The only hope of escape is a maze that the boys can’t crack–until the first girl shows up with a message that could unlock the puzzle. Ellen Goldsmith Vein is producing.

Hardwicke, who directed the original Twilight, recently wrapped Red Riding Hood for Warner Bros.

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CAA Makes A Pair Of Signings

By | Monday November 8, 2010 @ 8:06am PST
Mike Fleming

CAA made a couple of signings over the weekend. The agency signed Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the Victoria’s Secret fixture who was hand picked by Michael Bay to replace Megan Fox as the female lead opposite Shia LaBeouf in Transformers: The Dark of The Moon. The agency also signed The Gotham Group, the management company run by Ellen Goldsmith-Vein which represents a wealth of source material from major publishers and comic book companies and has producing credits that include The Spiderwick Chronicles and the upcoming Taylor Lautner-starrer Abduction. Huntington-Whiteley wasn’t previously repped as an actress. The Gotham Group had been repped by WME, which last week signed Chris Columbus away from CAA.

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