Borderline Films, the company behind the Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene, has signed a two-year first-look deal with Fox Searchlight, the studio that picked up the the Elizabeth Olsen-starring psychological thriller during the festival. Borderline Films was launched in 2003 by Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mon, who rotate their roles as writer, director and producer. “Sean, Antonio and Josh are an exciting talent collective with unique voices and a bold vision,” said Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley, who announced the deal today. “They are not afraid to challenge audiences with thought provoking films. We are thrilled to be in business with them and look forward to a very creative partnership.” UTA’s David Flynn, Melissa Breaux at Washington Square Arts and attorney Peter Nelson repped the filmmakers in the deal; Searchlight was repped by SVP Megan O’Brien. SVP Production Zola Mashariki will oversee Borderline’s production slate.
EXCLUSIVE: Frequent collaborators Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein are launching a company together. The company, Vendetta, will be based at ABC Studios with a first-look deal. Under the two-year pact, Up In the Air co-writer Turner will write one script himself and he and Klein will shepherd projects with other writers. Turner and Klein will executive produce all projects developed under the deal, which sprung from the relationship they developed with ABC and ABC Studios this past development season when the two executive produced a Vice President drama project titled Number Two, which Turner co-wrote with Shaun Cassidy. Turner and Klein are expected to bring a feature mentality to their development and shepherd big-event shows with feature writers.
In addition to Number Two, Turner and Klein have sold together as producers Broken to FX, which Turner wrote; drama Michael Chance to NBC, written by Julie Golden; and half-hour comedy The True Adventures of a Terrible Dater, written by Susan Brightbill. On the feature side, the two are producing the Turner-written By Virtue Fall, which will mark Turner’s directorial debut. The project is currently casting, with Eric Bana, James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe and Connie Britton already on board. Turner also wrote Sony’s Everest, which is now out to directors.
After launching two Onion-branded cable series this year, the satiric news organization is setting its sights on broadcast next. The Onion, best known for its fake-news newspaper and Web site, has signed a one-year first-look development deal with CBS Television Studios. Under the pact, The Onion’s creative team will develop ideas for non-Onion-branded broadcast comedy series as well as online series for CBS Interactive’s digital properties. “We’re looking forward to the creative challenge and, in fact, we’ve already come up with several exciting ideas, including 3 and a Half Men, 12 Men and Three-Quarters, and 72.683 Women,” said Joe Randazzo, Editor of The Onion. “This new relationship with CBS will hopefully allow us to take fraction-based comedy to new heights.” Added The Onion’s general manager Mitch Semel. “Also, it’s nice to be able to check off ‘Phase 4’ in our seven-part plan to take over the world by 2014. … Here’s hoping those oil prices continue to rise.” While taking over the world is highly dubious, a TV takeover would not be that far-fetched if the CBS Studios deal results in a broadcast series for the 2012-13 season. The Onion currently has two shows on the air: Onion News Network on IFC, which has already been renewed for a second season, and Onion SportsDome on Comedy Central, which is awaiting word after completing its freshman season.
Independent comics publisher Oni Press and its sister company Closed on Mondays Entertainment have inked a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios to mine the publishers’ comic books and graphic novels for series and other TV programming. The announcement …