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: Basil Iwanyk, one of the hottest feature producers of 2010 with 3 hits: Clash of the Titans, The Town and The Expendables, is making a move in television with an overall deal at Sony Pictures TV. He will develop series projects for the studio through his Thunder Road banner. Thunder Road’s TV efforts will be spearheaded by Sony TV’s drama coordinator Kerri Anderson who has …
EXCLUSIVE: Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan are still considered TV novices. But after 2 development seasons, their company American Work recently landed its first series order at NBC for Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair’s comedy tentatively titled BFF. Now, the duo has signed a new 2-year first-look deal with the studio behind the series, Universal Media Studios. Armstrong and Nandan first ventured into TV with a comedy pitch that became the 2009 NBC/UMS pilot Off Duty. It led to a 2-year first-look deal for the company at UMS where American Work sold 4 comedy projects in the first year and 10 in the second, including BFF, which was picked up to pilot and series by new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt. One of those 10 projects, Ambulance Chasers, a workplace comedy about personal injury attorneys from Off Duty writer Jason Mantzoukas, continues to be in development at FX. “We had a great experience,” Nandan said. “Bob has a great sense of humor, he seems to really understand the type of comedy we want to do and believes in it.” Armstrong and Nandan will develop new projects for NBC with Kristen Zolner whom they brought in last year as their development executive. “We want to bring NBC back to its former glory with shows like Emeril,” deadpanned Armstrong, a feature comedy writer who has worked on such movies as Old …
BREAKING: I’m told that producer Scott Rudin’s move to Sony Pictures is upon us. He’s closed a three-year first look deal with the studio. From last year’s Best Picture nominee The Social Network to the upcoming Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball and the David Fincher-directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, to the upcoming Somali Pirates Tom Hanks-starrer A Captain’s Duty that will be directed by Paul Greengrass and Cleopatra with Fincher directing Angelina Jolie starring, Rudin is already in the middle of some of Amy Pascal’s most ambitious projects.
Rudin’s deal has been at Disney for several years but it was settled out. It became clear his films didn’t fit into the family film profile that the studio was pursuing under Rich Ross and Sean Bailey. When Disney sold Miramax Films, Rudin began making movies all over town. Now Rudin, who just won the Tony Award for Best Musical for The Book Of Mormon, has a new home. He’ll remain in his New York offices, but the deal gives him the latitude to continue to buy material as aggressively as he is accustomed to being. He’s known for moving quickly in that regard, often buying literary properties when they are in the most nascent stages if he believes in the authors.
It has been clear for some time this move would be happening. Deadline told you in February that Rudin had streamlined his operation and shuttered his Los Angeles office, content to …
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 was made at Comic-Con. Oni Press’ property Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was turned into an Universal Pictures film, which premieres August 13. Other books by Paradigm-repped Oni Press and Closed on Mondays in various stages of feature development include The Return of King Doug with Ben Stiller and Red Hour Films, Ciudad with Joe & Anthony Russo, both at Paramount; The Damned with Parkes/MacDonald at DreamWorks; Last Call with Barry Josephson, Leading Man with Marc Platt and Frenemy of the State with Brian Grazer and Imagine at Universal.