It isn’t the golden days of the 1990s, but FilmLA. reports today that feature film production is on the rise in Los Angeles while TV production slipped from last year. A Q1 2014 report released today by the nonprofit permitting group said on-location feature production in LA County jumped 24.2% over Q1 2013 and that the category had a big leap of 39.4% over its five-year quarterly average. Despite the small number of tentpole pics made in California and the lure of hefty incentives in other states like Louisiana and NY as well as Canada and the UK, the latest results build on similar advances in past quarters and shows increasing traction from the all-time lows of 2009.
Related: Bring Blockbusters Back to California With Increased Film Incentives, Says FilmLA
It is no coincidence that 2009 was also the same year California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was first introduced. With overall production steady with Q1 2013 and legislation presently moving ahead in Sacramento to expand and evolve the program, FilmLA today praised California’s incentives as helping to stem the tsunami of exiting production. “This quarter’s report hints at what would be possible if California were to truly step up and compete for new film projects and jobs,” said the organization’s President Paul Audley in a statement. “Just imagine where we could be five years from now if current efforts to expand the state’s incentive program are successful.”
Related: New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento
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Money disputes couldn’t stop the Entourage movie from going forward and neither can Kevin Connolly breaking his leg. The actor broke his left leg in two places Wednesday while playing football on set in L.A. with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, I’ve learned. The accident, which Connolly posted a pic of on Twitter on March 21, occurred while the cameras were rolling on the Warner Bros pic. (UPDATE 12:53 PM - According to a tweet from director Doug Ellin, the actor caught the ball.) Connolly immediately iced his leg, I’m told, and went back to work to do the next scene soon afterward. He showed up for work the next day, and production on the movie based on the long-running HBO Hollywood hustle series has not been interrupted at all. Super Bowl XLVIII-winning Wilson is set to make a cameo in the movie.
With Wilson, Connolly, Jeremy Piven and the rest of the gang on screen, the Entourage movie is due to hit theaters on June 12, 2015 – four years after the series wrapped on HBO. Read More »
Paul Thomas Anderson‘s next film Inherent Vice has been given a plum awards-season release date. Warner Bros said today that the pic starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston and Jena Malone will come out December 12, 2014. The adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 detective novel will be Anderson’s first film since 2012′s The Master, which was nominated for three Oscars. The studio has spent the past week setting its release slate, especially for early 2015, finding spots for Man From U.N.C.L.E (January 16), Run All Night (February 6), Focus (February 27) and Get Hard (March 27).
Warner Bros Sets 2015 Release Dates For ‘Run All Night’, ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ And ‘Focus’
As usual it will be a packed Oscar-bait weekend on December 12. That’s when Fox releases its Ridley Scott biblical epic Exodus, starring Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. It’s also the date for Paddington, the live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon character from TWC-Dimension. Colin Firth voices the bear, and Nicole Kidman is an evil taxidermist out for revenge.
Related: Warner Bros Sets March 2015 Release Date For ‘Get Hard’ Read More »
Check out Deadline’s top film stories of the week:
‘Ride Along 2′ Gets Rolling
By Anita Busch – EXCLUSIVE: It was inevitable after the huge success of Ride Along that Universal Pictures executives would be salivating to get the sequel together. Tim Story will direct Ride Along 2 and Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are closing to reprise their roles as the quick-witted security guard (Hart) who has his eye on his partner’s (Cube’s) sister.
BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Is Lord Of Business, Costner’s ’3 Days To Kill’ No. 2 Buries ‘Pompeii’; ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Now 10th Highest Domestic Grosser Ever
By Anita Busch – All pictures played out pretty much as expected as the dust cleared this morning with Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie continuing to hold onto audiences to take in far and above any other offering with a $31.4M estimated gross.
Ebersols Aboard To Produce And Script Warner Bros’ ‘Space Jam 2′ As A Starring Vehicle For LeBron James
By Anita Busch – After he recovers from the injury suffered in last night’s game, NBA MVP LeBron James will be ready for his close-up — with Bugs Bunny.
Warner Bros Sets ‘Lego Movie’ Sequel For May 2017
By The Deadline Team – The Lego Movie to date has made $151.7 domestically after two weeks in release and now it is getting a sequel.
UPDATE: Open Road Says It Will Still Release ‘Midnight Rider’; Female Crew Member Killed In On-Set Train Accident Identified
By Anita Busch – We were told that the distributor was close to announcing its plans to pull out before yesterday’s tragic accident during production in Wayne County, GA, in which a female crew member was killed and seven others were injured when they were hit by a train while filming. So time will tell. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is just getting underway with the movie version of the hit HBO series Entourage. You know from the series that Ari Gold’s long-suffering assistant Lloyd has moved up to rep. So Ari has found a new assistant, and that role will be played by Scott Mescudi, who is better known in hip-hop circles as Kid Cudi. Mescudi is about to open opposite Aaron Paul in the DreamWorks vidgame adaptation Need For Speed, and he just wrapped the films James White and Two Night Stand. He’s also performing at Coachella. Mescudi is repped by WME and Leverage.
Related: ‘Entourage’ Gang Back As Movie Finally Begins Filming
The final pieces have fallen into place for WB’s big screen Entourage movie. Three years after the HBO series ended its eight-year run all main cast members are back as Deadline has reported, including Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Rex Lee, Debi Mazar, and Perrey Reeves as well as Emmanuelle Chriqui as Sloan and Rhys Coiro as Billy Walsh. They’re joined by Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment as father and son Larsen and Travis McCredle in the pic scripted and directed by series creator Doug Ellin. Entourage will hit both coasts with filming set for L.A. and Miami. Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Ellin are producing, with Wayne Carmona serving as executive producer. It’s been just over a year since WB greenlit the Entourage movie and it’s taken some time to sort out the cast’s salary demands. Ellin finished his script in September 2012 with a story that picks up just six months after the series end. No word on if that timeline is still in place for the movie, which will see Vinnie Chase & Co. still hustling in Hollywood with super agent Ari Gold now a full blown studio head.
HBO’s ‘Entourage’ Gets Warner Bros Movie Greenlight: Creator Doug Ellin To … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Haley Joel Osment has landed a supporting role in Entourage, the feature transfer that Doug Ellin is directing from his HBO series creation for Warner Bros. Some 13 years removed from The Sixth Sense, Osment joins Jeremy Piven, Billy Bob Thornton, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara along with the rest of the original TV cast. Ellin and Rob Weiss wrote the screenplay and Mark Wahlberg and Weiss are producing.
Osment gets the role as he finishes production on the Kevin Smith-directed A24 Films comedy Tusk, which will be released in the fall. He recently costarred with Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig in the IFC miniseries, The Spoils Of Babylon and can currently be seen in Amazon Studio’s Alpha House with John Goodman. Osment is repped by The Schiff Company and Resolution with attorney Bill Sobel.
Jack-of-many-trades Kevin Connolly is in Berlin this week to talk up his latest directorial effort, The Wright Girls. The soon-to-be 40-year-old Connolly, who’s been working in the business for more than 30 years, also stars in upcoming comedy Friends With Better Lives which debuts on CBS following the finale of How I Met Your Mother. Nevertheless, this is his first sales market. Despite being awed by the process, he told me tonight, “The more you know about every aspect of the business, the better.” The Wright Girls is a remake based on the Japanese movie 2LDK and centers on two female co-stars of a past-its-prime sitcom who are roommates in real life. When they realize they are both up for the same lead role in a big movie, they go from best friends to worst enemies in the course of one action-packed night. Atlas Independent’s William Green and Aaron Ginsberg are producing with Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner. Highland Film Group is selling here at EFM. Jessica Alba stars in the movie with the other lead to be cast soon. Alba, who Connolly recently directed in Dear Eleanor on which he’s in post, was the one to float the Wright Girls script to him — and he bit, quickly. Both Dear Eleanor and The Wright Girls are female driven movies; a seeming departure for the star who is most closely associated with the ultimate bro-fest, HBO series Entourage. “I’m a rah, rah guy’s guy. I like to talk about sports and put people in headlocks,” he told me today. But the unintentional bent towards working wth women could be a product of a decade of the testosterone-fueled Entourage, he allows. By the time that the Entourage movie starts principal photography on February 19, it will have been just about 10 years since the seminal series began. Or “maybe I’m preparing for marriage,” Connolly joked. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Entourage alumna Debi Mazar has been cast in Younger, TV Land‘s single-camera comedy pilot written and executive produced by Sex And The City creator Darren Star. Additionally, Mazar is the latest key Entourage player to join Doug Ellin’s upcoming movie, signing on to reprise her role as snappy uber-publicist Shauna. Younger, based on the novel by Pamela Redmond, follows 40-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster), a suddenly single mother who tries to get back into the working world only to find out it’s nearly impossible to start at the bottom at her age. When a chance encounter with a twentysomething guy at a bar convinces her she looks younger than she is, Liza tries to pass herself off as 26 – with the help of a makeover, courtesy of her best friend Maggie (Mazar). Armed with new confidence, she lands a job as an assistant to the temperamental Diana (Miriam Shor) and teams up with her new co-worker and fellow twentysomething Kelsey (Hilary Duff) to make it in the career of her dreams. Production has started on the project, with costume designer/stylist Patricia Field — who worked with Star on Sex And The City – on board as a costume consultant. Mazar is managed by Framework Entertainment.
Related: ‘Entourage’ Boys Are Back In Town — For A Table Read (Photo)
You can’t have an Entourage movie without Ari Gold and you can’t have the bellowing superagent without his assistant Lloyd. Jeremy Piven has been in place to reprise his role from the HBO series in the Warner Bros pic for awhile and now Rex Lee has formally signed on to join him on the big screen. The actor’s deal for the Entourage movie closed last week around the same time that Perrey Reeves inked her deal to return as Mrs Ari. Lee joined Piven, Reeves, Adrian Grenier and the other core cast for their first table read on January 30. The actor first appeared in Season 2 of the TV series, which ran from 2004 – 2011, in a guest-starring role but soon became an essential regular. The film, which successfully brought back the core cast from the series despite a salary standoff last year, is directed by series creator Doug Ellin. Lee is also going to be appearing in the upcoming ABC Family series Young & Hungry, along with Emily Osment and executive produced by Ashley Tisdale. Lee previously co-starred on ABC’s Suburgatory for two seasons until his exit last May. Rex Lee is repped by APA, Thruline Entertainment and attorney James Feldman
The gang’s all here — but, well, not all of them are in the photo. Here’s a look at tonight’s table read for the Entourage movie, courtesy of an Adrian Grenier tweet. It shows the once and future Vincent Chase hard at work with co-stars Jeremy Piven and Jerry Ferrara and director Doug Ellin as they gather to read the lines that someday will transfer to the big screen via Warner Bros. Let the caption contest begin, Deadline readers.
There will be one more member of the Gold family sitting down with the Entourage cast at Thursday’s table read after all. After what I’m told was a long negotiation, Perrey Reeves has signed on to play Melissa Gold, the long-suffering high-society wife of Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), in Warner Bros‘ movie based on the HBO series. The actress appeared in 74 of the Hollywood-set comedy’s 96 episodes, exasperated but tough as she dealt with her neurotic super-agent husband. The film, which reunites the principal cast from the series despite their salary standoff last year, will be directed by Doug Ellin, who created the series that ran from 2004-11. Reeves is repped by APA and MOSAIC.
Related: ‘Entourage’ Among Winners Of California Tax Credit Lottery
Doug Ellin is hard at work making the Entourage movie, but when he is done, he will be returning to television with an overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Under the rich, three-year pact, Ellin will develop broadcast and cable projects for the studio under a newly formed production company (name TBD) with Jim Lefkowitz, who will help spearhead development.
The overall pact stems from Ellin’s collaboration with CBS TV Studios on the comedy The Moodys, which received a put pilot commitment at Fox in August. It is based on the Australian series A Moody Christmas about a son who abandons his lofty goals to move back home to help run the family business. Ellin is executive producing the project with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and Jason Burrows, along with the creators of the original series, Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, who are writing. “With his unique narrative and creative edge, Doug is one of the defining voices in entertainment for today’s generation,” stated David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “He made his mark in pop culture with Entourage by creating engaging and charismatic characters while making the world of Hollywood relatable and endearing.” On the film side, CAA-repped Ellin also was tapped to rewrite Bad Santa 2 and did a script polish on Grudge Match.
Obama Set For DreamWorks Animation Visit Next Week
By Dominic Patten – EXCLUSIVE: The last time President Obama was in town back in early August he had a private dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg – now the Commander-in-Chief is heading over to his top bundler’s DreamWorks Animation Glendale campus for a very public pre-Thanksgiving visit.
Universal, Malcolm D. Lee In Talks To Make ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Sequel After Monster Opening
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: After a rousing opening weekend that saw his sequel The Best Man Holiday gross over $30 million domestically, Malcolm D. Lee is negotiating a deal with Universal to write, direct and produce another installment of the hit ensemble romantic comedy.
OSCARS: Why A Documentary Nomination Could Be Game-Changer For Gay Love Story ‘Bridegroom’
By Pete Hammond – The steady, emotional journey of award-winning documentary Bridegroom continues with its availability for sale beginning today on iTunes and Amazon. But it is an Academy Award nomination — or even just making that shortlist – that filmmakers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and husband Harry Thomason really want in order to carry their message of love and tolerance for gay couples worldwide.
Box Office Top 10: ‘Catching Fire’s Global Opening Gross Will Hit $307.7 Million
By Mike Fleming Jr. – International numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pouring in now, and they are as good as the domestic numbers. The film has grossed $146.6 million in 63 territories, which puts its global opening weekend gross at $307.7 in 65 territories. Read More »
UPDATE, 11:08 AM: They are getting ready to truly hug it out in front of the cameras. “January 16 start date. Getting pumped,” tweeted Entourage director Doug Ellin today. He also posted a photo of the primary cast, including Jeremy “Ari Gold” Piven and Adrian “Vincent Chase” Grenier, all together. That January start date means that Vinnie Chase and his crew will still be keeping the 20% tax credit that movie of the HBO series got from the California Film Commission program earlier this year – something Warner Bros was very insistent on not losing if the $30 million-budget pic was to go forward.
Related: ‘Entourage’ Salary Standoff Has Precedent In ‘Sex And The City’ Read More »
Part of the appeal of HBO’s Entourage was that no matter how treacherous Hollywood could be, Vinnie Chase always knew he had the loyalty and friendship of his Queens, NY, pals to fall back on. That spirit seems to have gone AWOL in the negotiations to move the series to the big screen. Nearly 10 months after my colleague Mike Fleming Jr revealed that Warner Bros had greenlighted a script by creator Doug Ellin that he will direct, progress has slowed to the point that some of the gang are publicly taking shots at each other. Exec producer Mark Wahlberg, on whose life Entourage is loosely based, told TMZ last week that the film will happen “as soon as those guys stop being so greedy.” Since Jeremy Piven and Kevin Connolly already have made their deals, Wahlberg seems to be directing his remarks at Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Adrian Grenier, who played Chase. Grenier responded via Twitter: “I will sign any deal that gives ALL the boys an opportunity to share in the upside of success EQUALLY.” There is precedent for this in the last HBO series to transfer to the big screen: The exact same thing happened in 2004 when Michael Patrick King got the go-ahead on a big-screen version of Sex And The City. Read More »
The Entourage movie, the fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf, the fifth season of Justified, the upcoming CBS Studios-produced King And Maxwell and Pretty Little Liars Season 5 are among the 31 projects picked this year in the state’s $100 million film and TV tax credit lottery, the California Film Commission announced today. Also on the list of winners is a previously unannounced sequel of Blumhouse’s upcoming horror/thriller feature The Purge, which debuts on June 7 from Universal.
Given the green light by Warner Bros back in January, the feature version of HBO’s eight season Hollywood series was always going to film a portion of its big screen debut in California but now they have a 20% tax credit to use. Among the others selected, Shane Brennan’s P.I. series King and Maxwell is one of the few new TV series to get subsidies this year and with a 25% tax credit, a move to California as a Relocating Series. Ordered earlier this year for 10-episode season by TNT, the pilot for the series, which stars Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney, was shot in Canada. There were a lot of familiar names this year too. This is the second year that Teen Wolf has received an allocation from the state program. It was selected as a Relocating TV Series in 2012, which made it automatically eligible this year under the Film Commission’s rules. TV series Justified and Pretty Little Liars, who already film in the Golden State and received tax credits last year as well, were re-eligible this year under regulations that place previously selected TV series at the top of the queue for future seasons. See the names of all of the winners of the 2013 California Production Tax Credit Lottery after the jump. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Ellin has signed to rewrite and possibly direct Bad Santa 2, the sequel to the 2003 R-rated classic black comedy that starred Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, along with the late Bernic Mac and John Ritter. Ellin rewrites a script by Johnny Rosenthal. The picture resides at Miramax, and Geyer Kosinski is producing it through his Media Talent Group banner. Some things need to fall into place for this one. Ellin, for one, has turned in his script for the movie version of the hit HBO series Entourage and is waiting to see when he will direct it. Ellin has started on Bad Santa 2, though.
Thornton wants to make the film in the fall after he completes London Fields, starring opposite Amber Heard. That Mathew Cullen-directed film is casting, with offers out to actors including Alexander Skarsgard. That film will begin production September 9, with Chris Hanley’s Muse producing with Media Talent, financed by Demarest Films. Bad Santa 2 will follow. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Vinnie Chase and Ari Gold are back, baby. Warner Bros has tonight given the greenlight on a movie version of Entourage, the HBO series that ran from 2004-2011. That’s about as far as the studio has gotten at this point, and there is no start date. But it’s a reprise for the inside Hollywood exploits of the up and coming film star, his agent, his manager, his under-appreciated TV actor brother and the childhood pal/driver who form his inner circle. The film will be directed by series creator Doug Ellin, who wrote the screenplay and who exec produced the series with Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. Deals are starting to be made with Adrian Grenier who played Vinnie, Kevin Connolly who played his manager Eric “E” Murphy, Kevin Dillon who played the actor’s brother Johnny Drama, Jerry Ferrara who played their entrepreneurial driver Turtle, and of course Jeremy Piven who played the show’s iconic Type A talent agent-turned movie studio mogul Ari Gold.
Related: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Entourage’ Movie Screenplay Finally Completed By Creator Doug Ellin
Related: The End Of ‘Entourage’: Whaddya Think?
In September 2012, the HBO series ended its 8th and final season with soap opera schmaltz but also a Hollywood cliffhanger. Agent Ari Gold becoming a newly minted studio mogul obviously set up the movie which series’ WME packaging … Read More »