EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has set Superbad helmer Greg Mottola to direct Keeping Up With The Joneses, and the studio is getting ready to make offers to cast. I’ve heard that Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm are atop their list. Studio says no cast is set. The logline: a quiet, suburban cul de sac is turned upside down when an unfulfilled married couple begins to suspect that there’s something nefarious afoot with their sexy and charismatic new neighbors. The film’s being produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald through Parkes/MacDonald. Mike Lesieur wrote the script, Marc Resteghini is exec producer and Greg Mooradian is steering the pic for the studio.
It’s official: HBO has picked up Aaron Sorkin’s hourlong cable news network pilot to series. The now untitled drama (formerly More As This Story Develops), which has been a virtual lock for a series order, centers on a cable news anchor (Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski), and their boss (Sam Waterston). Together they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements. The size of the order for the series is yet to be determined, but it should be around 10 episodes.
Sorkin wrote the pilot after lengthy research during which he spent time at Keith Olbermann’s and Chris Matthews’ MSNBC shows as well as behind the scenes at Fox News Channel and CNN programs. Sorkin executive produced the pilot, which was directed by Greg Mottola, with Scott Rudin and Alan Poul. This is Sorkin’s fourth series after Sports Night, the Emmy-winning The West Wing and Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, and the first one on cable. Sorkin, who won an Academy Award in March for penning The Social Network, is now the second writer-creator to do an HBO series right after winning an Oscar. Alan Ball followed his Academy Award for American Beauty with HBO’s Six Feet Under.
EXCLUSIVE: Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul is back at HBO with an overall deal. As part of it, the producer-director is set to executive produce Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot. Tentatively titled More As This Story Develops, the project centers on cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels), who has his own show, as well as the show’s female executive producer and staff. Poul will executive produce the pilot with Sorkin and Scott Rudin and is set to direct multiple episodes if it goes to series. (The pilot is being directed by Greg Mottola.) Since signing with WME six months ago, Poul has booked two pilot-directing gigs. He helmed TNT’s Perception, the only one from TNT’s recent batch of completed pilots to receive a series order. Poul also just finished directing ABC’s dramedy Good Christian Bitches. In addition to his stint on Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under, on which he served as co-executive producer/executive producer and director for the entire five-season run, Poul directed the pilot for CBS’ Swingtown and served as an exec producer on the series.
Greg Mottola is set to direct Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama pilot set behind the scenes at a cable news show. The project, which recent Oscar winner Sorkin is executive producing with Scott Rudin, centers on news anchor Will McCallister, a role Jeff Daniels has been in negotiations to play, who has his own cable show; his female executive producer; and his staff. After making his feature directing debut with the 1996 indie The Daytrippers, which he also wrote, Mottola ventured into TV directing, working on such cult faves as Undeclared, Arrested Development and The Comeback. Mottola then switched back to features with the boxoffice hit Superbad and went on to direct Adventureland and, most recently, Paul.
Universal has released a trailer for the Greg Mottola-directed Paul, the 3rd film from Brit comedy team Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), This time they play 2 sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland, where they help an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) escape the infamous Area 51. Paul is set to be released in in the UK on Saint Valentine’s Day. Its US release is March 18.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
PAUL is a road-trip comedy written by (and starring) Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, who are treated like absolute royalty by fans here. (Proof that what plays well at Comic-Con doesn’t always make it huge elsewhere; see also: “Filion, Nathan”). But PAUL is a perfect Comic-Con movie, because it actually begins at Comic-Con, as our lead duo take a road trip from San Diego to Area 51, where they pick up an escaping alien called Paul.