EXCLUSIVE: Fox is re-conceiving one of the lead characters in Dads, its six-episode multi-camera comedy series from Ted‘s team of Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild and Seth MacFarlane. As a result, the role is being recast, with Giovanni Ribisi replacing Tommy Dewey as the co-lead opposite Seth Green. The decision was made after the taping of the show’s first episode late last week, which was expected to prompt some tweaking. Written by Sulkin and Wild, the 20th TV-produced Dads centers on two successful guys in their 30s, Eli (Green) and Warner (Ribisi), who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads (Peter Riegert, Martin Mull) unexpectedly move in with them. Ribisi’s casting likely stems from the actor’s relationship with MacFarlane, Sulkin and Wild. He co-starred in the trio’s blockbuster Ted and is also on board to star in their follow-up Western comedy feature, also co-written by the three of them and directed by and starring MacFarlane.
Dewey was the very first actor cast in Dads in early February, before the project took several turns during the casting process, including changing casting directors. Dewey has been a favorite of Fox brass — he played the co-lead in the network’s 2011 comedy pilot Tagged and did a major recurring role on Fox’s freshman comedy series The Mindy Project before getting the Dads co-lead. (Dewey also co-created the Fox/20th comedy series Sons Of Tucson.) This is the second recasting on Dads: Vanessa Lachey replaced Erin Pineda as Warner’s wife after the table read.
This marks a rare series gig for Ribisi, who has focused on features for the past 15 years. His biggest series stint over the last decade was a major recurring role on another 20th comedy, My Name Is Earl, which was developed at NBC by Fox chairman Kevin Reilly. It earned Ribisi an Emmy nomination. He is with CAA and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: Add Giovanni Ribisi to A Million Ways To Die In The West, the next film to star and be directed by Seth MacFarlane. Ribisi reteams with MacFarlane, who is once again teamed in this venture with Media Rights Capital, which finally rode in a big winner when it backed MacFarlane’s last film, Ted, the foul mouthed stuffed bear comedy that has now grossed over $543 million worldwide. Universal is expected to become the distributor of the Western, after releasing Ted. MacFarlane wrote the script with Ted and Family Guy cohorts Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and Scott Stuber and Jason Clark are producing. They were producers on Ted with MacFarlane and John Jacobs. Read More »
Here’s the international market trailer Universal released Monday for Contraband. Directed by Icelander Baltasar Kormákur, it features Mark Wahlberg as a guy forced back into smuggling when a member of his family botches a drug deal. It co-stars Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, Lukas Haas, Diego … Read More »
After a judge last week denied a motion to dismiss, a lawsuit is tentatively scheduled to play out in LA Superior Court on August 8 that pits former William Morris literary agent Dave Phillips against William Sherak, president of the 3D conversion house StereoD. Phillips alleges in court papers that after inviting Sherak to be his 50/50 partner on emerging 3D technology that Phillips had been retained to shop in Hollywood, Sherak betrayed him. By the time 18 months worth of meetings culminated in the deal that led to the formation of StereoD, Sherak emerged with a 32% stake in that company and signed a 3-Year $14 million deal to run it after Deluxe acquired StereoD in May. Phillips was offered $30,000 to sign a release and go away.
Sherak, the son of Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak, is accused of breaching an oral agreement and his fiduciary responsibility to Phillips. At issue is whether the technology Phillips plugged Sherak into (it originated with Kerner, an offshoot of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic) led to the deals that formed StereoD and should be counted in the 50/50 3D deal split Phillips said he and Sherak agreed to in an oral (not written) contract. Phillips claims in his complaint that Sherak often assured him their position would be protected because of his father’s industry clout, but that he eventually became evasive after Phillips was offered the $30,000. Stereo D has quickly become a major player in 3D conversions of films that include Captain America, Avatar, Jackass 3-D, and Thor.
Phillips claims that he brought Sherak into the 3D mix because they were longtime friends and he knew Sherak’s father would use his clout to put them in rooms with the Hollywood heavyweights needed for deals that would enrich the duo with finder fees. According to Phillips’ complaint, the elder Sherak orchestrated meetings with the likes of Ron Perelman, Deluxe’s Cyril Drabinsky, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau. The elder Sherak also arranged for Fox to provide a print of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to be converted into 3D for demos.
Along the way, the younger Sherak arranged meetings with Christopher Mallick, the financier of Middle Men, a film Sherak produced. These meetings evolved into a focus on 2D to 3D conversion technology called VDX that wasn’t owned by Kerner, but rather a Japanese inventor named Kuniaki Izumi. The filing indicates Phillips and Sherak were involved in bringing Izumi in from Japan to meet Mallick, who shortly after dropped his Kerner pursuit. He struck a deal with Izumi that paid the inventor $1 million for technology that became the core of Stereo D. Mallick gave equal ownership stakes in StereoD to himself, Sherak and Middle Men star Giovanni Ribisi. Phillips was not included. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Giovanni Ribisi has landed a co-starring role in Warner Bros’ The Gangster Squad, the period crime drama Ruben Fleischer is directing that stars Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as members of the elite … Read More »
Laura Vandervoort, who plays Supergirl on Smallville and who also stars on ABC’s V, has been added to the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, the Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi … Read More »
Patrick Warburton has landed a role in Ted, the Seth MacFarlane-directed Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg as a man who wishes his teddy bear to life and then uses the talking slacker toy to get in … Read More »