EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Animation has set Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions on Manimal, the feature based on the cult 1980s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. Miller, Ferrell, and McKay will produce along with original series co-creator Glen A. Larson, and Key & Peele EPs Jay Martel and Ian Roberts already have been tapped to write.
The original 1983 series starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a dashing and wealthy man raised in Africa who was also “master of the secrets that divide man from animal.” It was cancelled after eight episodes, only to live on in the hearts of a devoted cult fandom (flash back with a clip from Manimal below). Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/animation hybrid will reinvent that concept as an action-comedy with heavy visual effects and animated elements. SPA President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate and SVP Michael Lachance are overseeing for the studio. Read More »
Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez Productions’ Match Maker is based on Don Van Matta Jr’s ESPN The Magazine article “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, The Mafia And The Battle Of The Sexes,” centering on the 1973 exhibition tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs that drew 50 million TV viewers. King, then 29 and at the height of her powers, beat Riggs, the a 55-year-old retired pro — though there’s always been speculation there’s more to the story. Will Ferrell is now attached to play Riggs, and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty scribe Steven Conrad has been hired to write the script. Variety had this break first.
2ND UPDATE, 4:40 PM: Here is NBC‘s third and final comedy pilot order of the day for Ellen More Or Less (previously Formerly Fat Girl), written by JJ Philbin and executive produced by Jason Katims, who is behind NBC’s new comedy series About A Boy. The single-camera, from Universal TV and Katims’ True Jack Prods, is loosely based on the nonfiction book 10 Lessons From A Former Fat Girl and centers on an average-size woman who, after losing 100 pounds, begins reinventing herself in life and love. NBC gave the project, executive produced by Philbin, Katims and Michelle Lee a pilot production commitment in September. The pickup means that both high-profile single-camera comedy projects this season about a formerly fat protagonist have gotten a green light — Fox recently ordered Fatrick, which is already casting. For those counting at home, NBC has picked up 7 comedy pilots so far, plus series orders to the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock project and Mr. Robinson.
UPDATE, 4:18 PM: NBC has also picked up to pilot Mission Control, a Universal TV-produced comedy from studio-based Gary Sanchez Productions and executive producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. How To Be A Gentleman creator-star David Hornsby wrote and exec produces the pilot, a workplace ensemble said to be in the tone of Anchorman. Set in 1962, it examines what happens when a strong woman butts heads with a macho astronaut in the race to land on the moon. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ass Backwards duo Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael have sold a feature pitch to Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, which the writer-actresses will script as a starring vehicle for themselves. Ferrell, McKay, and Jessica Elbaum are set to produce the new project for Gary Sanchez. Plot details are being kept under wraps but the pitch is an original story from Raphael and Wilson, who co-wrote the Kate Hudson-Anne Hathaway comedy Bride Wars and collaborated on Sundance 2012 entry Ass Backwards. The latter, a buddy road trip pic starring Raphael and Wilson as a pair of lovable loser BFFs, is currently in limited release (check out the trailer here). Meanwhile, Raphael and Wilson have been busy. In addition to selling two half-hour projects to NBC via ABC Studios and ABC after inking a script deal with ABC in August, Raphael is shooting New Regency’s Business Trip opposite Vince Vaughn and will turn up in Paramount’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. She’s repped by UTA, Silver Lining Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham. Wilson, a client of UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero, and Ziffren Brittenham, most recently appeared in Happy Endings and will be seen in David Fincher’s upcoming Gone Girl.
NBC has handed an early pilot order to Bad Judge, a single-camera comedy starring and executive produced by former Private Practice star Kate Walsh. The single-camera project, from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods and actress Anne Heche, was written by Chad Kultgen (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) based on an idea brought to Gary Sanchez by Heche. It centers on a hard-living, sexually unapologetic woman (Walsh) who plays with the law, and whose life on the edge is constantly in balance as she also happens to be a judge in the criminal court system. Universal TV, where Gary Sanchez Prods. and Heche have deals, is producing. Heche and Jill Messick executive produce alongside Walsh, Kultgen, Ferrell and McKay. Bad Judge was a late pitch buy last development season, and emerged as a contender for an off-cycle pilot order in March when Walsh started circling the project. Read More »
NBC has put in development Fifth Wheel, a comedy from ABC Studios and studio-based The Mark Gordon Co. The project was written on spec by Heidi Niedermeyer & Elena Crevello, best known for their viral video S**t People In L.A. Say (you can see it below). It a twentysomething ensemble show about a girl learning to deal with being the only single person in her group of friends. Gordon and Andrea Shay executive produce. Fifth Wheel joins six other sales for the Mark Gordon Co. this season — dramas with writers Aaron Stockard, Tom Donaghy, Dean Georgaris and Kathryn Price & Nichole Millard at ABC, and comedies at ABC and Fox.
How To Be A Gentleman creator/star David Hornsby is behind an untitled NBC comedy project from Universal TV and studio-based Gary Sanchez. Written by Hornsby, it takes a look at the world of NASA in the 1960s. Hornsby is executive producing with Gary Sanchez’s Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Owen Burke. WME-repped Hornsby continues to recur on FX/FXX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
EXCLUSIVE: Guys With Kids‘ Zach Cregger is set to co-star opposite Krysten Ritter in NBC‘s single-camera comedy pilot Assistance, from Gary Sanchez Prods. and Universal TV. Written by Leslye Headland, Assistance centers on Nora (Ritter), an idealistic “working girl” assistant who is pulled between her colleague (Cregger) and her real-life fiance (Peter Cambor) while trying to manage a demanding boss. Cregger’s casting is in second position to Guys With Kids. Both projects are with NBC/Universal TV. I hear that was important to Cregger who wanted to remain loyal to his current series and didn’t entertain interest from pilots on other nets. Cregger, repped by WME and Principato-Young, is starring in the Lionsgate film Gay Dude as well as the indie The Bounceback, which premiers at the SXSW film festival. He is a founding member and creator of the sketch group The Whitest Kidsu’know.
Frances Fisher has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot The Returned, from Brillstein Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, the project chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Fisher, repped by Greene & Assoc., Sanders Armstrong Caserta and attorney Jeff Bernstein, will play Lucille, who lives with her husband Harold in Arcadia and is amazed when … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has put in development River Dogs, a comedy written, executive produced by and starring actress-comedian Andrea Savage (Dinner For Schmucks). Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods, River Dogs follows an odd group of young poker pros who are dying to prove to the world that they are legitimate “athletes,” but the very thing that makes them great at poker makes them totally awkward in real life. The project reunites Savage with Gary Sanchez — she is probably best known for her role in the company’s comedy feature Step Brothers. Savage, repped by UTA and Mosaic, sold a comedy project to ABC through Sony TV and Fanfare earlier this season and will next be seen in You’re Not You opposite Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum.
Viral hit Drunk History is becoming a TV series. Comedy Central has given an eight-episode series pickup to the project after originally ordering a pilot presentation in the spring. The announcement was made at TCA where the network also said it has ordered Seasons 4 and 5 of Workaholics for a total of 26 episodes.
Related: Sundance Channel Greenlights Unscripted Series About TV Writers
Drunk History, produced by by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy’s Gary Sanchez Prods. The trio will executive produce with Derek Waters, creator of the Drunk History series of shorts, Jeremy Konner, who directed them, and Owen Burke. Like the Web series, Drunk History, which will premiere in the summer, will feature historical reenactments by A-list talent serving as inebriated storytellers. “Will and I have always believed booze brings out truth,” McKay said. “Sometimes that truth involves hitting on airport bar janitors or eating cheese fries at 4 a.m. But in this case, we hope that truth will shine on our nation’s history.”
Related: Nick Kroll Aims For Whatever Gets The Most Laughs
Among those who have done re-enactments in the original Web series are Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, Jack Black, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jason Ritter and Danny McBride. In addition to garnering millions of hits on YouTube and Funny or Die, a Drunk History short produced for Gary Sanchez’s HBO series Funny or Die … Read More »
NBC has put in development Assistance, a single-camera comedy from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods. It will be written by Leslye Headland who wrote and directed the feature Bachelorette, also produced by Gary Sanchez. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Disney has bought an untitled comedy pitch from Adam Pally and Gil Ozeri for Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions to produce. Pally and Ozeri currently work together on ABC’s Happy Endings; Pally stars as Max, and Ozeri is a writer. They are keeping the logline under wraps, with Gary Sanchez’s Ferrell, McKay, Chris Henchy and Kevin Messick producing and Kristin Burr overseeing for Disney.
Pally and Ozeri met nine years ago writing and performing together at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater in New York. CAA reps both; Pally is managed by 3 Arts and Ozeri by Mosaic.
Maybe Hollywood should be extra careful in light of recent events. Or at least extra sensitive. This weekend, movie theatre audiences may be disturbed by the first sounds from a new Warner Bros film. During the opening credits for The Campaign, which releases Friday, two gunshots are clearly heard when the title treatment card for Gary Sanchez Productions comes up on the big screen. “The gunshots really stuck out,” one unnerved moviegoer at the studio screening told Deadline. Warner Bros easily could have muted the handgun sounds especially since this wasn’t the actual film action but the title treatment. The studio had no comment. But a spokesman for Gary Sanchez Productions, which is Will Ferrell’s and Adam McKay’s banner, told Deadline, “Obviously we are very sensitive to the tragedy in Colorado and we will re-evaluate on future productions the use of the title treatment.”
The Bridesmaids rip-offs were inevitable. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez productions just released the red band trailer for Bachelorette starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and James Marsden. Written by ex-Harvey Weinstein assistant Leslye Headland (FX’s Terriers), the low-budget indie generated some buzz at Sundance earlier this year and hits theaters September 7th:
Low-budget high-concept filmmakers Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko have been set by Sony Pictures Entertainment to write and direct Wheels, a high school road movie that will be produced by Gary Sanchez Productions and Principato-Young. Gurland and Botko wrote and produced The Last Exorcism and wrote and directed The Virginity Hit for SPE.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has won the auction for the untitled pitch package for Recount’s Jay Roach to direct Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as rival candidates in a comedy timed for release in the heat of the 2012 Presidential elections. The comedy, which Deadline revealed when it reached studios Friday, will be written by Chris Henchy, the co-writer of The Other Guys, and Shawn Harwell, best known for his work on HBO’s Eastbound & Down. The film will be produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez Productions banner, Roach through his Everyman Pictures banner, and Galifianakis.
The CAA-brokered sale closed on Saturday. Haven’t yet heard numbers, but in the last two pitches which the agency brokered for Gary Sanchez, Columbia Pictures essentially committed to make a movie with a full budget and fees for The Other Guys and Talladega Nights. Both were turned into hit movies. Ferrell is coming off The Other Guys and Megamind, while Galifianakis is reprising in The Hangover Part II after starring with Robert Downey Jr. for Warner Bros and Todd Phillips in Due Date and It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Galifianakis also played a scene-stealing supporting role for Roach in Dinner For Schmucks. Mosaic manages Roach, Ferrell and his Gary Sanchez cohorts while Brillstein Entertainment Partners manages Galifianakis.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO is teaming with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez and actress Lizzy Caplan to develop a comedy series project based on actress/writer Julie Klausner’s memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band. The project is eyed as a potential starring vehicle for Caplan, who is coming off Starz’s cult comedy series Party Down. The book, a gritty but comedic look at what it’s like to navigate the dating world in your 20s, chronicles Klausner’s experiences from her preadolescent sexual awakenings through the unsavory details of sleeping with a gallery of losers throughout her 20s.
Gary Sanchez’s Owen Burke brought the book to the company’s Jessica Elbaum, who recently received an Emmy nomination for executive producing Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America HBO special. (She also exec produced the one-man Broadway play the special was adapted from from.) Elbaum started developing the project with Caplan. Gary Sanchez’ Ferrell, McKay, Chris Henchy and Elbaum will executive produce Band, with Caplan and Burke producing.
Band expands Gary Sanchez’ relationship with HBO. The CAA/WME-repped company produces HBO’s comedy series Eastbound & Down, which is returning for a second season. HBO also owns a stake in Gary Sanchez’s successful comedy web site Funny or Die, which spawned a Funny or Die-branded sketch comedy series on the pay cable channel.
Caplan, repped by CAA and Benderspink, also has a history with HBO where she recurred on True Blood. The actress recently completed Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and indie Queens … Read More »