EXCLUSIVE: USA Network has given a cast-contingent pilot order to an untitled hourlong project from Numbers creators Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton, Universal Cable Prods and Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ studio-based production company Hypnotic. It is based on a short story from Elmore Leonard‘s anthology When the Women Come Out To Dance, the book that also features the short story Fire In The Hole that FX’s series Justified is based on. The project centers on a Miami businessman who, contemplating a run for political office, tries to increase his chances of being elected by marrying a Colombian woman who is on the run from her troubled past. What starts as a marriage of convenience quickly escalates into much more as his new wife proves to be more resourceful at “fixing” any problem the corrupt South Miami political scene throws at her husband. READ MORE »
CANNES (May 23, 2012) – Entertainment One (“eOne”) announced today from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all North American rights to director Charlie Matthau’s homage to 1970s filmmaking, FREAKY DEAKY. Matthau also penned the screenplay, which is based on Elmore Leonard’s 1988 novel of the same name. The film stars Crispin Glover, Billy Burke, Michael Jai White, Christian Slater, Andy Dick, Breanne Racano and Sabina Gadecki. Matthau andJudd Rubin produced the project, with George Eyde, Louis Eyde, Nathaniel Eyde, Robert Cantrell, Steven Berez, Donald Zuckerman, and Lee Greenberg executive producing. FREAKY DEAKY had its world premiere earlier this year at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
Summer In February
Speranza13 Media, the new sales company run by Camela Galano, has taken on international rights to Summer In February starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens along with Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning. Janette Day and Pippa Cross of CrossDay Productions are producing with Jeremy Cowdrey of Apart Films. Sales will start next week in Cannes on the period love triangle shot in Cornwall, England and directed by Christopher Menaul.
Richard Ayoade’s comedy will start principal photography May 20. The Submarine director’s second film is inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella. Ayoade and Avi Korine wrote the script about an insignificant man driven to near breakdown by the appearance of his doppelganger. Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor and James Fox star. Amina Dasmal and Robin Fox of Alcove Entertainment are producing. Protagonist is handling international sales. Studiocanal has already acquired UK rights. Mars has France, Golden Scene has Hong Kong, Rialto has Switzerland and Lusomundo has Portugal.
EXCLUSIVE: United Talent Agency has signed prolific crime writer Elmore Leonard, who has retained a major Hollywood agency for the first time in his 60-year career. UTA will rep Leonard in film, TV, digital and allied rights. Leonard, who continues with literary agent Andrew Wylie, is eager to see more of his books adapted for the screen. He has written 45 Westerns and crime novels, and 40 short stories.
His enthusiasm is understandable. Leonard’s 2002 short story Fire In The Hole was the basis for the superb FX series Justified, which stars Timothy Olyphant as deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Leonard told me in May 2010 that he’d sworn off writing screenplays in 1993 (his past scripts include the Charles Bronson film Mr. Majestyk) because he got tired of trying to please movie executives half as smart as he is about storytelling. But Justified provided a big spark, he is an active voice for series creator Graham Yost, and Leonard welcomes other chances to see his crackling dialogue and indelible crime plots on some screen or other.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Elmore Leonard is the legendary writer who provided the source material for the FX hit Justified and serves as an executive producer alongside showrunner Graham Yost. He admitted during a TCA panel this morning that he’s always tried to make his stories as visual as possible so they’ll sell to Hollywood. ”From the very beginning I’ve been in it to make money,” the distinguished author said, “and writing visually is the way you do it.” He denied, though, that he cares so much about making money that he becomes indifferent to how the projects bearing his name actually turn out. “Of course I care how it turns out,” he declared. “I don’t just turn something in. But any writer is a fool if he doesn’t write for money. But it all goes together. It’s fun to sit there alone and think of characters and get ‘em into action and then get paid for it.” He has trouble understanding writers who are too shy to show their work to anyone. “I’m wondering, well then what are you doing it for?” Leonard stressed. “You want people to like it. Then you want to get paid for it.”
Universal Cable Prods To Produce First Project For Broadcast Sibling NBC: Elmore Leonard Adaptation By ‘Numbers’ Creators
EXCLUSIVE: In its first development season as a broadcast player, Universal Cable Prods has sold two projects, including one to corporate sibling NBC. The NBC project hails from Numbers creators Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton as well as Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’s UCP-based production company Hypnotic. It is based on a short story from Elmore Leonard’s anthology When the Women Come Out To Dance, the book that also features the short story Fire In The Hole that FX’s series Justified is based on. The NBC project centers on a Colombian mail-order bride who finds herself working as a “fixer” in South Miami as she struggles to escape her troubled past. It joins UCP’s Jason Tracey-penned detective drama Metropolitan, also from Hypnotic, which recently sold to Fox. And there are a few more broadcast pitches in various stages, said UCP’s SVP Maira Suro, who oversees the studio’s development for networks other than the UCP-affiliated USA and Syfy. This is part of the recent strategy implemented by UCP and NBC-affiliated Universal Television to each become a full-service TV studio supplying broadcast and cable networks. UCP and Universal TV (formerly Universal Media Studios) were part of one NBC Universal TV production entity, UMS, that was developing for both broadcast and cable until 2008 when UCP was spun off from UMS and cable and broadcast production was split up between the two.
For UPC, supplying NBC is a priority, Suro said. “For us, part of our expansion, along with selling to other cable and broadcast networks, is serving our sister network NBC,” she said. “If we can be in any way part of the network’s success and help its turnaround, that would be fantastic and a win-win.” As for making the transition from producing for cable, where budgets on average are lower, to broadcast, “I’m sure there will be some adjustments but we are not chasing the broadcast model,” said Suro, whose development team includes Stacey Levin, Garrett Kemble and Stephanie Albrycht. “We are very selective in the projects we take out and are doing them efficiently, so we are confident that we can execute them in the same way we do our successful cable series.” “We won’t be taking out a show like Terra Nova,” she added, referring to Fox’s big-budget, live-action/CGI prehistoric drama. One thing the company will need in reinventing itself as a full-fledged studio is to change its name from Universal Cable Prods.
FX drama series Justified will return for a second season on February 9 and will run in the Wednesday 10 PM slot for 13 weeks. Developed by Graham Yost and starring Timothy Olyphant, Justified is based on the works of crime novelist Elmore Leonard, including his short story Fire in the Hole.
EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: William H. Macy has just committed to star in Freaky Deaky, the adaptation of the Elmore Leonard crime novel about 60s radicals who use their skills for blowing stuff up for entrepreneurial purposes in the 70s. Charlie Matthau wrote the script and is directing. Macy will play Woody Ricks, an alcoholic millionaire with a passion for show tunes, showgirls and a knack for avoiding getting blown up.
Amazon.com is crowing that for the first time, its e-book sales volume has surpassed hardcovers. Am I the only one who sees this as an apocalyptic sign for the great pleasure of book reading? Amazon’s basing its assertion on sales figures …