Paramount Pictures is in talks to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Silence, and the tentative plan is to release the film November 2015, right in that holiday corridor where awards-bait pictures dwell. Silence is one of those pictures on Scorsese’s bucket list, an adaptation of the Shusako Endo novel that Scorsese has longed to make for more than a decade. The project finally came together when Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films principals Randall Emmett and George Furla committed the production financing, with Corsan Entertainment co-financing. Shooting will get underway in Taiwan. The film takes place in the 17th century, where two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread Christianity. The script is by Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York scribe Jay Cocks, and the filmmaker has pulled together a cast including Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Adam Driver.
Emmett and Furla are producing with Emma Tillinger Koskoff and Irwin Winkler. Paramount seems a logical landing place for Silence. While Red Granite funded The Wolf Of Wall Street, Paramount released the film, which was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture. The studio also distributed Shutter Island and Hugo. Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions is Paramount-based and the filmmaker has a strong relationship with Brad Grey, a producer on The Departed who didn’t get a Best Picture Oscar because Grey took the top Paramount job.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla/Oasis will produce and finance BMF, a bio-film about Demetrius Flenory, who was known as Big Meech when he created Black Mafia Family, a Detroit-based cocaine trafficking ring in the 1990s. Principals Randall Emmett and George Furla have won a competitive chase for life rights to Flenory, and they will produce the film with Flenory, Tammy Cowins, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, David Robinson, LT Hutton, and Barry Brooker. Stan Wertlieb will be exec producer and EFO’s Tim Sullivan will be co-producer.
Flenory and his brother Terry started the organization, creating a pipeline with alleged ties to the Mexican cartels and distribution channels across the middle of the country. As they flourished, Big Meech tried to go legit by forming the hip-hop music business BMF Entertainment. The Drug Enforcement Administration eventually caught up with them, indicting members of the Black Mafia Family. Prosecutors said the enterprise made $270 million during its run and ultimately secured convictions by targeting the Flenory brothers under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute. Each brother was sentenced to 30-years-to-life and both are still behind bars. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Film and television production/financing company Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films is making its first foray into unscripted TV, inking a first-look deal with Pilgrim Studios, the company of top reality producer Craig Piligian. Under the deal, producers Randall Emmett and George Furla will develop and produce docuseries and other unscripted shows in partnership with Pilgrim. The two sides already are working on several projects.
Emmett and Furla’s Emmett/Furla Films, which changed its name to Emmett/Furla/Oasis last year when Oasis Ventures Entertainment acquired a stake in the company, has become a prolific source of financing for star-driven studio-released dramas such as Lone Survivor, End Of Watch and 2 Guns. In TV, the company has syndicated action drama Saf3 and the Starz drama Power, which premieres June 7. The company also is in development on a Friday The 13th hourlong drama. “As a company, Emmett/Furla has always looked to diversify in terms of content and genres; we did it in moving from feature films into scripted television, and we see unscripted TV as a new frontier – but one that requires collaboration with seasoned and successful partners,” Emmett said. “In unscripted TV, no one has built the empire that Craig Piligian has built with Pilgrim, so we couldn’t be happier to be in business together.” Added Piligian: “We are always looking for unique and compelling stories and characters, as well as partners … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has set Robert De Niro to star in Bus 757, a Stephen Sepher-scripted action thriller that Scott Mann (The Tournament) will direct. The film, which shoots in September in Baton Rouge, will be distributed by Grindstone/Lionsgate Films with Hannibal Classics’ Richard Rionda Del Castro and Patricia Eberle handling international sales. EFOF principals Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing and financing, and international financing on the $15 million film is being provided by Hannibal Classics and Michael Mendelsohn’s Union Patriot Capital.
Related: Cannes: Directors To Watch
Bus 757 centers on a casino card dealer who puts together a crew to simultaneously rob a bank and hijack a bus full of hostages to use as collateral. De Niro will play “The Pope”, a casino owner with illegitimate business practices whose assets are the targets of the heist. Now that he’s in place, casting will begin in earnest. Emmett, Furla, Sepher and Alexander Tabrizi are producing. Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb will be executive producers along with Daniel Grodnik, del Castro and Eberle and Tim Sullivan is co-producer. De Niro is represented by CAA, EFOF by WME. Mann is repped by Paradigm, Aperture Entertainment and Stone, Meyer. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After slicing and dicing his way through a dozen feature films, Jason Voorhees is ready to slash his way to small-screen stardom. Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films and Crystal Lake Entertainment have set a deal to produce a new hourlong dramatic series based upon the characters and settings of Friday The 13th. Sean S. Cunningham, who helmed the 1980 original, will be executive producer along with EFO Films principals Randall Emmett & George Furla, Mark Canton of Atmosphere Entertainment MM, Steve B. Harris of Diversion3 Entertainment, and Ted Fox of Fox Entertainment. Also producing is Horror Inc. president Robert Barsamian, who produced the features.
Bill Basso (Terminator) and Jordu Schell (Avatar) have been set to script a storyline that re-imagines Jason in multiple time periods. Roy Knyrim (Gods And Monsters) of SOTA FX will coordinate the special make-up effects for the series. If you recall, the original was set at a summer camp, closed because of the drowning of an unattended child. Promiscuous counselors tried to re-open the place, but they began dying. Jason actually took root as the indestructible villain in the second film, with his signature hockey goalie mask coming later. The series is contemporary, focusing on the eclectic characters of Crystal Lake who are forced to confront the return of the killer, as new secrets about his wacky family are revealed. Read More »
Social experiment format Utopia is getting a German version. The ProSiebenSat.1 Group has acquired rights with the local version to be a co-production between Talpa Media and its German partner, Schwartzkopff TV. In the States, Talpa Media U.S. is working with Fox on the American version for launch later this year. The reality series features a group of everyday people whisked to an isolated, undeveloped location for an entire year and challenged to create their own civilization. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The increasingly prolific Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has promoted Tim Sullivan from development exec to director of development and Jessica Welch to production executive. She had been executive assistant at the company run by Randall Emmett and George Furla.
This comes as the company follows Lone Survivor by financing/producing the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Adam Driver. EFOF also just committed to finance Labor Of Love, marking a reteam of Sixth Sense‘s M. Night Shyamalan and Bruce Willis, with Stuart Ford’s IM Global selling international at Berlin. They wrapped production on The Prince last month, and are getting close on the Tupac Shakur biopic, a film based on Hasbro’s Monopoly and Universal’s Everest.
Related: Sundance: Bruce Willis To Star In Action Pic ‘Vice’, Teaming Again With Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films
As for the promotions, Sullivan started at EFOF as Emmett’s intern in 2008 and worked his way up to junior creative exec. He’ll acquire scripts and scout talent for EFOF projects. He will continue to co-produce films for the label, and his name is on The Prince, Vice, Hotel 33 and Expiration. Welch also started as an intern and was promoted first to assistant and now production exec, acting as a liaison to line managers and all producers on all upcoming EFOF films.
If you missed Deadline’s top film stories this week, check them out here:
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EXCLUSIVE: Corsan NV has made a deal with financier/producer Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films that will see Corsan invest $125 million in EFO slate films that include the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence, the Bruce Willis-starrer Expiration, the Vin Diesel-starrer The Last Witch Hunter, Scorsese’s The Irishman and the Baltasar Kormakur-directed Everest.
The funding alliance was made by Randall Emmett and George Furla with Corsan NV CEO Paul Breuls. The first film is Everest, which starts production in November and which is being produced by Working Title and released domestically by Universal. The film will star Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Corsan president of International Sales Pascal Borno and Alain Gillissen have begun selling international territories here at Toronto on Expiration, which begins production January with Willis starring. Next to go into production will be Last Witch Hunter, with Breck Eisner directing Diesel and Lionsgate releasing. Production will begin in March. Read More »