EXCLUSIVE: Fox has made a pre-emptive pitch deal for Breaker, an original sci-fi idea by VFX wiz and commercials director Trevor Cawood. Fox-based Hutch Parker Entertainment is producing. Matt Cook, whose scripts By Way Of Helena and 999 made the Black List, will write the script. The scribe and Parker previously teamed for an untitled heist project at the studio. Dan Wilson is running point for Hutch Parker Ent, and Jason Young is the Fox exec. Parker just produced The Wolverine and is working on X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Cook and Cawood are both repped at WME and Anonymous Content.
20th Century Fox has acquired Capsule, a spec by Ian Shorr that Hutch Parker and John Zaozirny are attached to produce through Parker’s Hutch Parker Entertainment banner. Parker exec Aaron Ensweiler will spearhead the project for the company. Matthias Hoene is attached to direct. It’s a sci-fi script, based on an original story by Hoene. A young man’s life is turned upside down when he mysteriously begins to receive metallic capsules containing messages from his future self.
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox and Hutch Parker Entertainment have acquired an untitled heist film from screenwriter Matt Cook, whose percolating scripts include Triple Nine and By Way Of Helena. It’s the second project between the script and Parker, who is developing at FX an original prison-set drama called Keepers. Parker, who came back to the Fox lot as producer after leaving New Regency, just produced Wolverine and recently joined the producing roster for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which Bryan Singer is directing for the studio shortly. Parker exec Dan Wilson is spearheading the heist project along with Fox exec Jason Young. Cook is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: After two so-so attempts to adapt James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux terrific mystery novel series into features, the New Orleans-based crime saga is being redrawn for cable TV. Fox-based producer Hutch Parker has optioned Burke’s books and is packaging the series. After how well FX and Graham Yost did with Elmore Leonard’s U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens character in the series Justified, cable sounds like just the place for Robicheaux. There is certainly a wealth of material that can be used to paint the picture of the Vietnam vet-turned police detective who works out of New Orleans and whose temper–and imposing size–often leads him to meet criminals on their own vicious terms. Burke started the series with 1987′s Neon Rain, and Simon & Schuster just released his latest, Creole Belle, the 19th book in the series. Burke’s colorful writing brings to life the French Quarter like no mystery writer I’ve read, as he and his hot-blooded, tortured hulking private eye pal Clete Purcell take on the pimps, drug dealers, Klansmen and fat cats preying on the underclass. Burke has also worked his personal outrage with the conditions that caused the disaster of Hurricane Katrina into his prose, and he has won two Edgar Awards for his work and been named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. The two attempts at features were the 1996 Heaven’s Prisoners with Phil Joanou directing and Alec Baldwin starring, and the 2009 Bertrand …
EXCLUSIVE: Hutch Parker Entertainment has partnered with producer Shane Salerno to develop Savages author’s Don Winslow’s bestselling 2007 thriller California Fire And Life. The producers will be going out to screenwriters and filmmakers shortly.
California Fire And Life tells the story of Jack Wade, once a rising star cop who fell from grace in a scandal and now makes his living as an arson investigator. His cardinal rule is “don’t get involved”, but when Jack sees the charred corpse of a young woman that has been written off as an accident, he becomes obsessed with hunting down the killer. Both Savages and Winslow’s new novel The Kings Of Cool are on the bestseller list.
EXCLUSIVE: Hutch Parker, who exited New Regency and into a producing deal at his longtime home at Fox, is becoming a producer on The Wolverine, joining Lauren Shuler Donner and John Palermo on the James Mangold-directed film that will have Hugh Jackman reprise his role as the title character he originated in the X-Men franchise.
Parker is very steeped in X-Men lore, as he developed and oversaw the original movies when he ran production at Fox. Among other projects he is working on at the studio is The Life List, the debut novel by Lori Nelson Spielman that Ballantine Books will publish next year. Fox 2000 optioned the book and Parker will produce via his Hutch Parker Entertainment banner
EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has optioned film rights to The Life List, a debut novel by Lori Nelson Spielman that Ballantine Books will publish next year. Hutch Parker will produce the film through his Hutch Parker Entertainment banner. The book sees a young woman embark on a year-long journey of self-discovery after her mother passes away and leaves her an inheritance with one big stipulation — in order to receive it she must complete the items on a “life list” of goals she made for herself when she was 14. She reluctantly embarks on this bewildering and comedic journey through her adolescent dreams surprised to find the life, and the self, she’d lost along the way.
Gersh brokered the film deal for lit agent Jenny Bent. The book has been sold to the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Brazil, and China. It becomes the second significant novel to be acquired by Fox for Parker since the former New Regency co-chairman exited and transitioned to a producing deal on the lot. The studio also acquired The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan for Parker. His exec Aaron Ensweiler found the book.
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has preemptively acquired The Curiosity, a novel by Stephen Kiernan. Deal went down just as the studio’s sister company, Harper Collins, made a publishing deal for its William Morrow imprint. Harper Collins bought the novel for Canada. Hutch Parker will produce for Fox.
Book is a love story and scientific thriller in which a man frozen for 100 years wakes up in today’s America to be hounded by tabloids, condemned by religious conservatives, and hunted while he strives to come to terms with his unique second life. He falls in love with a beautiful scientist a century younger than him. Trident Media Group brokered the book deal and CAA and Ellen Levine made the movie deal.
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Fox 2000 EVP Carla Hacken is leaving the studio to become president of production for New Regency. It is the latest move in a restructuring of the company since Arnon Milchan reemerged as an active chairman and installed former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston as CEO with a mandate to become a more filmmaker-driven concern.
New Regency is partly owned by News Corp, whose 20th Century Fox distributes and often co-finances Regency-generated films. The move was orchestrated with the cooperation of Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman and Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler.
“Jim, Tom and Liz have been great partners and are incredibly gracious about Carla,” Weston told me in confirming the move. “They see this as a terrific opportunity for her, and a great way to help support New Regency. Arnon and I couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Hacken was an ICM agent when she was brought into the Fox 2000 fold 15 years ago by Laura Ziskin. She has worked closely with Gabler and developed such films as Unfaithful, The Devil Wears Prada, Walk The Line, Bride Wars, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Love & Other Drugs and In Her Shoes.
There has long been a tradition of cross pollination between Fox and New Regency (which is based on the lot). That includes Sanford Panitch (who moved from Fox to Regency and now steers Fox International Productions) …
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Deadline revealed the impending exit of New Regency chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker, I’m told that former Paramount Pictures production president Brad Weston is in deep negotiations to run the production/financing company as president/CEO. That is a position similar to the one held by Sanford Panitch before he left to run Fox International Productions. The chairman post that will be vacated by Harper and Parker will be filled by majority owner Arnon Milchan, who is really planning to roll up his sleeves and become way more involved than he has been in the past few years.
Weston is an experienced production executive who, before Paramount, ran Dimension Films with Andrew Rona, (who after starting the Rogue genre label for Universal is currently running Joel Silver’s company at Warner Bros). The big question is whether Milchan will be willing to put ain the time and the daily grind that is necessary to run a major production/financing company like New Regency, where Harper and Parker oversaw everything from production to marketing, distribution and the library. Rupert Murdoch tried a hands on approach years ago after Barry Diller left, but it is a tough thing to sustain when there are other businesses to run. Of course, Milchan owns 80% of New Regency (Fox is a part owner of the company), so he has the right to run things if …
EXCLUSIVE: A major shake up is taking place at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency. Co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will not renew their contracts when they expire in December. I’ve confirmed with Harper that he and Parker are negotiating their exits. There had recently been a ripple of rumors about this, and there will be the inevitable speculation over whether the duo are jumping before being pushed. Harper didn’t get into that, but said that he was confirming because he and Parker were aware of the rumors and were most concerned with reassuring filmmakers with Regency projects that the duo would continue to be closely involved and see those films through to release. Harper also said the decision came after months of conversations with Milchan over whether or not to renew. Recently, they came to the conclusion that this was the best course. Milchan could conceivably name a replacement quickly, but Harper told me that he and Parker will continue to see through the completed films as well as some of the projects that are gearing up for production starts, regardless of how quickly the succession takes place.
Harper had been in the job for four years (he moved from the post of vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has worked for Fox since 1986), and Parker had been in the post for more than three years (he moved over from the post of 20th Century Fox vice chairman, and had been with the studio 13 years when he took the job). They have been involved in every facet of New Regency films, including production, marketing, distribution and administering the library. Harper said it is unclear what will happen next year, and that he and Harper haven’t solidified their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they remain on the Fox lot as producers or in some other capacity.
EXCLUSIVE: Regency Television, the boutique TV production company that produced Roswell, Malcolm In the Middle and Bernie Mac, is poised for a comeback. I hear former ABC Studios executive-turned-producer Morgan Wandell has emerged as the frontrunner to run the resurrected production company. The original Regency TV launched in 1998 as a 50-50 joint venture between Regency Enterprises and Fox TV Studios and existed for 10 years until the partners shut it down in July 2008.
Hutch Parker and Bob Harper, toppers of Regency Enterprises’ film division New Regency, hinted about the company’s plans to explore a return to television at the January announcement of the renewal of New Regency’s distribution deal with Fox. “We can see an opportunity for a restructured approach,” Parker said back then. Indeed, I hear that Regency TV 2.0 would operate under a new business model. For starters, the new incarnation of the company won’t be a co-venture with Fox TV Studios but a Regency-owned independent TV production company. But more importantly, unlike the original company, which deficit financed its series, I hear the new Regency TV won’t. I hear the company would emulate DreamWorks TV’s model instead, in which the production company develops projects independently but doesn’t deficit them, instead taking in producing fees. Despite Regency’s close ties with Fox (News Corp. also owns 20% of New Regency), I hear Regency TV won’t be affiliated with News Corp’s TV divisions 20th Century Fox TV or Fox TV Studios, through it is possibly for 20th TV to have some distribution responsibilities.
It was getting to the point that every few weeks I heard another rumor about where Hutch Parker, the vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, would be heading. Because it’s been common knowledge that Parker had one foot out the door. And that he was sought after in the community. In fact, I’d been given a tip two weeks ago that Hutch was exiting for New Regency only to be told by a Fox source that the job was “too small” for him. What a difference a few days make…
The general concensus is that Parker, who’ll co-chair New Regency with former Fox Filmed Entertainment vice chairman Bob Harper, “really had no job at Twentieth,” a source told me, explaining the move. ”That vice-chairman job is a bit superfluous. Because there are very senior capable execs in charge of each division — except Alex Young. And this way Hutch may have an equity stake in New Regency and some autonomy without having to peddle his wares like a producer. Also, he could make more money.” Here’s the press release:
LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2008) — Hutch Parker will join Robert Harper as Chairman of New Regency, it was announced today by Harper. The move heralds a major step forward in the growth and expansion of the industry’s largest independent studio.
The pairing of Parker, currently vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, and Harper, a former Fox Filmed Entertainment vice chairman, will create one of the