EXCLUSIVE: E! has added another project to its scripted development slate: a high-concept romantic drama from feature writer-directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (Can’t Hardly Wait). The project, from E! sibling Universal Cable Prods. and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, centers on a young entertainment lawyer who dies but is determined to pursue a romance with a woman who’s still alive — while he exists in limbo in New York City, working for the department that judges the recently departed. Elfont, Deborah Kaplan and Aaron Kaplan (no relation) executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Judy Greer, who is recurring on CBS’ revamped Two And A Half Men this season, is developing her own series at ABC targeted for next fall. ABC is finalizing a deal for the half-hour single-camera comedy, which will be written by feature scribes Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan (Made Of Honor). The project is inspired by Greer’s life, where she moved from Los Angeles for the man she loves and found herself raising stepchildren and making new friends in a small suburban town. Greer, repped by CAA and Principato-Young, is producing, with Elfont, Kaplan and Principato-Young’s Peter Principato, Paul Young and David Gardner executive producing. On the big screen, Greer will next be seen in Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and Jay Duplass’ Jeff Who Loves At Home. On TV, she co-starred on the CBS comedy Mad Love last season.
The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.
As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell …
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has hired Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan to adapt and direct Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, based on the 1992 John Gray book that highlights the vast differences between men and women, and attempts to bridge the differences. Elfont and Kaplan will turn the title into a romantic comedy, with BermanBraun’s Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman producing.
Gray, whose book has sold over 50 million copies in 45 countries, details the vast gender differences and make suggestions on how to find common ground. Despite that apparent gulf between the sexes, Elfont and Kaplan have done pretty well. They have been creatively collaborating since they met at NYU. They most recently scripted the Amy Adams-Matthew Goode romantic comedy Leap Year, the Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy Made of Honor, and the Ben Affleck-James Gandolfini comedy Surviving Christmas. They’ve directed Can’t Hardly Wait, and Josie and the Pussycats. They are both repped by CAA and Benderspink.