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Cannes: Benjamin Walker & Teresa Palmer In Good Universe’s ’2:22′

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 8:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

benwalkBenjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer star in 2:22, a psychological thriller 2:22 that Lightstream Pictures’ Paul Currie directs from a script by Todd Stein with Nathan Parker and Currie. Good Universe will sell at Cannes. Walker plays a man whose life is permanently derailed when an ominous pattern of events repeats itself in exactly the same manner every day, ending at precisely 2:22 PM. He falls for a woman (Palmer) whose life is threatened by these strange events, and he must solve the mystery to save her. Shooting begins in October in Australia. Producers are Pandemonium’s Bill Mechanic, Walk The Walk Entertainment’s Steve Hutensky and Lightstream Pictures’ Currie. They did The Moon And The Sun, in production with Pierce Brosnan. Walker is repped by Inspire Entertainment and WME. Palmer is repped by WME, Management 360 and Shanahan Management.

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Horror Hit ‘The Grudge’ Going Reboot Route

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 12:01pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Grudge Remake RebootEXCLUSIVE: The Grudge, the Takashi Shimazu-directed 2004 film that helped establish the viability of low-cost genre films, is getting a reboot. Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe will relaunch the franchise, and they’ve set Midnight Meat Train scribe Jeff Buhler to draft the reboot.

The original starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, cost around $10 million, grossed $187 million worldwide and hatched a sequel. It was based on the Japanese horror thriller Ju-On by Shimizu. The new one will be produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise, with Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane exec producing. Gellar played a nurse in Tokyo who was afflicted by a curse that created uncontrollable rage and was pretty much fatal.

Buhler, who is separately working on a new version of Jacob’s Ladder, is repped by WME and The Gotham Group.

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Point Grey Pictures And Good Universe Enter Joint Venture To Develop Comedies

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 3:54pm PST

GoodUniverse_logoSeth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver’s Point Grey Pictures have entered into a joint venture with Good Universe to develop comedies together. The two companies already have found great success working on such films as 50/50 and This Is The End, and Neighborswhich Universal will releasegoldbergrogen May 9. They also colloborated on an untitled Christmas comedy coming from Sony Pictures. “Point Grey has been one of the most rewarding partnerships for our company, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating on this new venture. Our goal is to create a platform for ambitious filmmakers to take the reins of their projects and bring these comedies to life,” said Good Universe co-founder Nathan Kahane in a statement. Point Grey just entered into a deal with Scott Rudin and Eli Bush to produce three films for Sony. One is with the Mail Order Comedy troupe behind Comedy Central’s WorkaholicsWorkaholics cast members Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson will star and Holm is writing the script. Also producing is Isaac Horne, who manages the trio. The second is Brooklyn Castle, which is based on the Katie Dellamaggiore-directed docu about the trials and tribulations of the junior unbeatable champion chess team in an inner-city high school. The documentary won the audience awards at SXSW. And finally, Console Wars is about the battle Sega and Nintendo for video game dominance between in the 1990s. … Read More »

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Zooey Deschanel’s Hello Giggles Sells ‘Sister-In-Law’ To Good Universe; Sets ‘Girls’ Writer To Script

By | Wednesday October 30, 2013 @ 11:46am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: New Girls Zooey Deschanel and her Hello Giggles cohorts are expanding into film with Sister-In-Law, a comedy they’ve just sold to Good Universe. The production company Deschanel formed with partner Rivka Rossi, springboarding off their femme-driven website Hello Giggles, has already been moving fast into TV. Sister-In-Law marks their first feature sale and will be scripted by Girls writer Sarah Heyward. Story follows a woman who meets her boyfriend’s family for the first time and must find a way to get along with her eccentric future sister-in-law. Audrey Chon will oversee for Good Universe, with Rossi, Deschanel, and Molly McAleer producing for Hello Giggles. Earlier this month Deschanel and Rossi sold TV comedies And Lies I Tell My Daughter and Freelancers to NBC and Fox, respectively. Heyward is repped by UTA. Rossi is repped by UTA, 3 Arts, and Ziffren. Deschanel is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson. McAleer is repped by WME and Ginsburg Daniels. Dan negotiated the deal on behalf of Good Universe.

Related: Zooey Deschanel Launches Production Co., Signs First-Look Deal With 20th TV

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Good Universe Sets Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg To Direct Sex Romp; Seth Rogen And Evan Goldberg To Produce

By | Wednesday October 2, 2013 @ 2:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: At Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake’s Good Universe, Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg are set to direct the racy untitled comedy once called Cherries, and Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver are teaming with the directors and DMG Entertainment’s Chris Fenton to produce an R-rated comedy that will start production early next year. Hurwitz & Schlossberg are doing a pass on the original script by sibling scribes Brian & Jim Kehoe.

Here’s the premise, which already has me thinking of who could play the three fathers who are determined to prevent their daughters from making good on a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. The Point Grey guys have a knack for edgy comedies (This Is The End), and so do Hurwitz & Schlossberg, who wrote and scripted American Reunion after writing Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, then writing and directing Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, and writing and co-producing A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. The film will also be exec produced by Good Universe’s Kahane and Drake, and Chris Cowles. Rogen and Goldberg are currently in production on The Interview, which they’re co-directing and producing, with Rogen starring. Good Universe’s Spencer Wong is overseeing.

Hurwitz & Schlossberg are repped by CAA and the Point Grey guys by UTA. The … Read More »

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Cannes: Antonio Banderas Joins ‘The 33′; Good Universe Selling Chilean Miners Movie

Antonio Banderas will play Mario Sepulveda, aka Super Mario, in The 33, the feature version of the saga of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro are also joining the ensemble. Mike Medavoy secured the miners’ exclusive life rights last year and developed the project in collaboration with the men, their rescuers and their families. Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna) will direct with production scheduled to begin in the fall. Good Universe is handling international sales. Medavoy and Edward McGurn are producing with Carlos Eugenio Lavin and Leopoldo Enriquez exec producing.

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Cannes Briefs: Radiant Films Goes ‘Wild’; Image Acquires ‘ ZoZo’; ‘November Man’ Firms Cast; ‘Heat’ Sales Hot; ‘Oh Boy’ & ‘Child’s Pose’; Spike Lee Finds ‘Gold;’ Image Feels Domestic ‘Shiver’; More

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Radiant Films International has acquired international rights to the comedy drama Wild. Written and directed by Vivienne DeCourcy, the movie stars Ella Greenwell and Tom Hughes. It tells the story of Mary Reynolds, a visionary young garden designer who puts everything on the line in order to compete in the Chelsea Flower show. Hughes stars as Christy, an idealistic environmentalist, whom Mary enlists to help her compete at the Chelsea, the Olympics of gardening. Wild is funded by Green Earth, the Irish Film Board, RTE and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. It will shoot in Ireland and Ethiopia over the coming months. Pic is produced by Treasure Entertainment and Crowe’s Nest in Ireland, together with Green Earth in the US. Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole will produce from Treasure, with Sarah Johnson and Chloe Kassis Crowe exec-producing. Jay Cohen from the Gersh Agency is handling U.S. rights. Read More »

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Cannes: Good Universe Sets Billy Ray To Helm ‘Departure’

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 10:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

Good Universe has set Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray to direct his script Departure. Jim Whitaker will produce the sci-fi/romance film and Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Good Universe has the project on the fast-track and will begin casting right away. Based on the true story of a never-explained avionic phenomenon, Departure follows a brilliant Miami-based FAA investigator who is obsessed with learning how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to occur with increasing frequency in the skies over Miami, the investigation becomes personal when the employee’s beloved wife is on one of the planes affected. The story is inspired by the book Ghosts Of The Air by Martin Caidin, which documents real accounts from pilots who have experienced flight anomalies. Billy Ray is represented by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Peter Nichols.

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Cannes: Elton John Biopic ‘Rocketman’ Picked Up By Good Universe

Good Universe will handle international sales for Rocketman at the Cannes film market, pic producer Rocket Pictures said today. Michael Gracey is directing the musically inspired retelling of the life of Elton John from the original screenplay by War Horse and Billy Elliot scribe Lee Hall. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing, and Elton John will executive produce. Rocketman follows John’s life story from 5-year-old musical prodigy through his often-troubled life to becoming a global icon and one of the world’s most iconic musicians. “We’re excited to be bringing this musical event movie to Cannes.” said Rocket CEO Shaw. “It’s bold, brave and inspirational. Good Universe has great commercial sensibility and we’re delighted to have them represent us.” The deal was negotiated by Shaw for Rocket, which is repped by UTA, and Drake and Michael Meyer for Good Universe. UTA Independent Film Group is repping domestic rights.

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Jason Clarke And Omar Sy To Star In Stephen Gaghan Thriller ‘Candy Store’

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 12:14pm PDT

Lionsgate and Good Universe are partnering on Candy Store, a character-driven action thriller co-written and to be directed by Stephen Gaghan. Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Omar Sy (The Intouchables) are starring in the ensemble cast. Lionsgate will distribute the pic in North America, and Good Universe will handle international sales and make the pic part of its Cannes slate. The plot of the thriller, co-written by Shannon Burke, interweaves several storylines set against the criminal underworld in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. A former covert operative (Clarke) discovers the organization he was dedicated to fighting is now operating in his new backyard. When he teams with a disgraced local cop, their investigation leads them to a king pimp (Sy), a Cold War consigliere, and a beautiful girl wrapped up in an elaborate threat against Manhattan.

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Good Universe Buys Sascha Penn Action Crime Pitch

By | Friday March 22, 2013 @ 8:07am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Good Universe, the upstart shingle run by former Mandate men Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane, have acquired an untitled pitch from Sascha Penn. It’s described as an action-heavy film that pits the criminal organizations the Yakuza and the Mafia against one another in a winner-take-all battle. Oasis Media’s David Lonner and Ben Rowe will produce and Nicole Brown is overseeing for Good Universe. Penn is creator and exec producer of Secret Lives Of Husbands & Wives, a pilot for Jerry Bruckheimer and NBC that is a candidate for a fall series pickup and stars Martin Henderson, Jesse L. Martin and Perry Reeves. He’s also writing a sci-fi project for Andrew Adamson’s Strange Weather and sold his feature sci-fi action thriller The Ditch to Warner Bros with Madhouse Entertainment producing. Penn is repped by CAA and Madhouse.

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Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert & Good Universe Acquire Fantasy Book Series ‘Angelfall’

By | Wednesday November 14, 2012 @ 3:10pm PST

Angelfall was initially self-published by author Susan Ee before it was courted by publishers and finally released in the fall by Amazon Children’s Publishing. The second book in the young-adult fantasy series is due next year. Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert and Good Universe have acquired multipicture rights for a feature adaptation with Raimi and Tapert producing and Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane exec producing. “Susan is a brilliant writer”, Raimi said. “She has created a fantastic world with instantly engaging and real characters. I immediately connected with the material and knew that she had conceived the perfect combination for a great fantasy film.” Read More »

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Good Universe Taps Helen Lee-Kim To Head International

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 3:22pm PDT
Mike Fleming

SANTA MONICA (October 17, 2012) – GOOD UNIVERSE, a full-service motion picture financing and production company, is upping its commitment to being a leading force in international sales and distribution with the expansion of its global sales arm. Industry veteran Helen Lee-Kim has come onboard as partner and president of international to jointly build Good Universe with co-founders Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane. Brent Jack also joins as the head of international marketing and publicity.

Building upon key relationships, Lee-Kim will align the company with third party producers and financiers who are also committed to bringing feature films with broad commercial appeal to the international marketplace. She will also help drive the international group’s evolution into the television business. Jack will continue his decade long partnership with Lee-Kim, developing customized sales launches and supervising international rollouts for all films on the company’s growing slate.

Lee-Kim and Jack have long standing ties with Drake and Kahane following successful runs together at Lionsgate, as well as Mandate Pictures and Senator International. Together they have launched over 70 films which have generated over 4.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office.

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Good Universe Continues Ramp-Up With Promotions

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 6:05pm PDT

Joe Drake Nathan Kahane Good UniverseEXCLUSIVE: Good Universe, the full-service movie financing, production and sales company launched by Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane just ahead of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has promoted a trio of execs. Audrey Chon has been upped to VP Production, where she will continue to oversee the development of the Spike Lee remake of Oldboy, which is set to kick off production in the fall with Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley starring. Meryl Emmerton has been promoted to VP Physical Production; she was director of physical production previously, the same title she held at Good Universe predecessor Mandate Pictures. She is working on Oldboy and Last Vegas, the buddy comedy the company is making with partner CBS Films that stars Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and the just-added Kevin Kline. Also promoted is onetime Mandate controllor Jeremy Needelman to VP Strategy, Finance and Accounting.

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Kevin Kline To Join Cast Of ‘Last Vegas’

By | Wednesday July 18, 2012 @ 3:06pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Kevin Kline Last Vegas CastingKevin Kline is joining Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas as the fourth buddy in the CBS Films and Good Universe comedy about old friends who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single. Jon Turteltaub is directing Last Vegas from a screenplay by Dan Fogelman, with production set to start in the fall. Laurence Mark and Amy Baer are producing, with Good Universe’s Nathan Kahane executive producing with Lawrence Grey. Matt Leonetti will co-produce. Kline most recently appeared in Lawrence Kasdan’s Darling Companion, and also is circling a role in Charlie Kaufman’s Frank Or Francis.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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It’s Official: Morgan Freeman Joins ‘Last Vegas’

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 12:14pm PDT

Related: Morgan Freeman In Talks For ‘Last Vegas’

LOS ANGELES – May 17, 2012 – CBS Films and Good Universe announced today that Oscar®-winner Morgan Freeman will join fellow Oscar®-winners Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro in the comedy LAST VEGAS.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, While You Were Sleeping) from a screenplay by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled), LAST VEGAS is a comedy about four old friends who decide to throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single.

Freeman is set to play Archie Clay, an army veteran, who looks to escape the watchful eyes of his son and daughter-in-law and accompany his best friends on a trip to Vegas.

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‘Hunger Games’ Joe Drake Starts New Film Label With Mandate Partner Nathan Kahane

By | Tuesday May 1, 2012 @ 3:00pm PDT

Santa Monica, CA (May 1, 2012) — Longtime partners Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane have launched Good Universe, a new full-service motion picture financing, production and global sales company. The new company — which kicks off its upcoming slate with films in Cannes —already has the infrastructure and resources to develop, package, produce and fully finance its movies. The launch comes just as the successful collaborators transition out of Lionsgate where Drake served as the president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and Kahane as the president of Mandate Pictures.

Good Universe opens its doors fully staffed and with films from Mandate’s development slate, in which Good Universe and Lionsgate are partnered. Drake and Kahane will aggressively look to acquire other material in three specific areas: bigger multi-quadrant properties with true franchise potential, expanding the Ghost House Pictures brand with a reinvestment and increased focus on the horror genre, and a focus on the kinds of movies that defined the Mandate brand—singular, original voices with universal stories to tell such as Juno, the Harold & Kumar series and 50/50. Future franchises will be modeled on Drake’s franchise-building strategy at Lionsgate that resulted in The Expendables and global box office juggernaut The Hunger Games.

Drake and Kahane arrive in Cannes later this month prepared to launch Good Universe’s global sales operation, which the former will oversee, and present their first two films, Oldboy and Last Vegas. Oldboy, to be directed by

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