EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, the emerging writer-director-producer team that just wrapped the Will Smith-Margot Robbie grifter tale Focus for Warner Bros. Requa & Ficarra produced that film through their Zaftig Films banner alongside Denise DiNovi.
Requa and Ficarra, who were repped by WME, made their directing debut on the Jim Carrey-starrer I Love You Phillip Morris. They followed by helming Crazy, Stupid, Love, the comedy that starred Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, which grossed $142 million worldwide. They got on the map writing the hit black comedy Bad Santa, which starred Billy Bob Thornton and John Ritter. They have several projects percolating, including a film based on the rise and fall of eccentric software wiz John McAfee, who adopted an extreme lifestyle and set up a compound in Belize. After being implicated in the death of a neighbor, McAfee fled the scene. Requa and Ficarra continue to be lawyered by Jeff Frankel of McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead.
EXCLUSIVE: In their pilot directing debut, feature directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are set to helm and executive produce ABC’s Cullen brothers single-camera comedy pilot. Additionally, joining the cast of the multi-generational family comedy, which locked in James Caan earlier today, is Ben Koldyke (How I Met Your Mother, Big Love). Requa and Ficarra, who wrote and directed I Love You Phillip Morris, wrote Bad Santa and directed Crazy, Stupid, Love, were hotly pursued for pilots this season.
The Cullen brothers project, from 20th TV, centers on Terry Gannon, a recently divorced single mother who temporarily moves in with her estranged father (Caan), a beer-swilling former baseball player. She reluctantly starts coaching her son Tommy’s (Griffin Gluck) underdog Little League team and is drawn back into the world of sports she vowed to leave behind. Koldyke will play Dick Slingbaugh, the macho, handsome Little League coach who’s more than a little full of himself. This marks Koldyke’s return to ABC where he starred in the ill-fated comedy Work It last season. He is with Gersh and Brian Medavoy. The Cullen brothers are executive producing the pilot with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Requa and Ficarra. Charlie Gogolak, Requa and Ficarra’s producing partner at Zaftig Films, serves as producer. WME-repped Requa and Ficarra have been prepping con-artist feature comedy Focus starring Kristen Stewart.
In an effort to catch up with the animated films being generated at other studios, Warner Bros has formed what it calls a feature animation creative consortium. They’ve identified a core group of filmmakers to form a Justice League for the production of cartoons. The team’s goal will be to generate one animated film per year. John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Nicholas Stoller, Phil Lord and Chris Miller and Jared Stern are the first directors in the program. They aren’t exclusive to the studio, and will develop animated projects along with the live action films they direct. Stoller has written Storks, which will be directed by Doug Sweetland for 2015 release; Requa and Ficarra will spearhead Smallfoot, from an original idea by Despicable Me‘s Sergio Pablos, who’ll direct for 2016 release. First out of the gate will be the 3D The LEGO Movie, which will be released by Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Films by February 7, 2014. Warner Bros execs Jeff Robinov, Greg Silverman, Courtenay Valenti and Chris deFaria will oversee the effort.