Third Installment Of ‘Ghostbusters’ A Go For Early 2015; Death Of Pal Harold Ramis Prompts Ivan Reitman To Turn Over Directing Reins

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is eyeing an early 2015 production start Ghostbusters New Movie in New York on its next installment of Ghostbusters. There is a major change, though. In the wake of the death of his close friend and original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman has decided he won’t direct the film, after all. Instead, Reitman will help Amy Pascal find a new director to take over what everyone hopes will reboot what the studio considers to be one of its most important franchises.

In all the years Sony has tried to get this film up and running, Reitman has been the most stable part of the equation, long locked to direct his third installment. This included the long campaign to get Bill Murray to reprise his signature role, when it became impossible to even get him to read a script that Sony, Reitman and their other architect Dan Aykroyd were happy with. It has been clear for a while that Murray wasn’t going to be part of this, and momentum has been building. Then Ramis, a catalyst for some of the biggest film comedies of the 1970s and ’80s, passed away. That has changed everything.

Reitman spoke exclusively with Deadline on his decision, and I’m going to give him ample room to explain why he changed his mind after so many years of being the primary person pushing this forward.

orig“There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters,” Reitman told me. “I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing. We’d decided not to comment up till now, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill was going to do. A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career. We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters.”

Reitman confirmed the Murray chase, one that encompassed not one but two scripts. Read More »

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Kevin Costner Pigskin Pic ‘Draft Day’ Throws The Red Flag, R Rating Overturned On Further Review

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 3:42pm PST
Mike Fleming

kevincostnerPenalized with an R rating for harsh language, the Ivan Reitman-directed Kevin Costner starrer Draft Day appealed, and the Classification and Rating Appeals Board today gave it a PG-13. Costner plays a general manager trying to figure out … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Kevin Costner In ‘Draft Day’

By | Tuesday December 24, 2013 @ 8:44am PST

As the NFL regular season heads into its final week, Summit has suited up the first trailer for its football flick. Kevin Costner stars in Draft Day as the employment-imperiled general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who tries to wheel and deal his way into the … Read More »

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Sam Elliott Joins Ivan Reitman’s ‘Draft Day’

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 10:58am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: He’s not on the field but he is in the game. Sam Elliott has joined Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day, playing a college coach whose quarterback is a top NFL draft pick. Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner … Read More »

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Summit/OddLot’s ‘Draft Day’ Finalizes Cast Ahead Of Real NFL Draft

By | Wednesday April 24, 2013 @ 1:20pm PDT

Summit and OddLot Entertainment’s dramedy Draft Day began filming today in New York, timed to the real NFL Draft that begins Thursday at Radio City Music Hall. Kevin Costner stars alongside Jennifer Garner, Ellen Burstyn, Denis Leary and Frank Langella as the GM of the Cleveland Browns who tries to trade up for the first pick and save football in the city. The pic is directed and produced by Ivan Reitman from a Black List script by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman. 42 star Chadwick Boseman has a small role as former star college player, and Terry Crews, Sean Combs, Josh Pence, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Simons, David Ramsey, Wade Williams, Chi McBride, W. Earl Brown, Brad Henke, Griffin Newman, Kevin Dunn, Patrick St. Esprit, Arian Foster, Christopher Cousins, Pat Healy, Laura Steinel and Wallace Langham are also aboard. Read More »

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Frank Langella Is Cleveland Browns Owner In ‘Draft Day’

By | Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Frank LangellaEXCLUSIVE: Frank Langella, who has teamed with Ivan Reitman for Dave and Junior, is back for the trifecta. He has signed to play Harvey Molina, the fictional owner of the Cleveland Browns, in Draft Day, the … Read More »

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Ivan Reitman’s ‘Draft Day’ Adds ‘Veep’s Timothy Simons

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 8:59am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: The Veep actor has been set for Ivan Reitman‘s NFL comedy alongside Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Denis Leary. Draft Day follows the GM of the Cleveland Browns as he frantically tries to secure a #1 pick for his team. Timothy Simons will play Marx, a scout with an opinionated presence in the draft day war room. The Summit/Lionsgate and OddLot Entertainment pic is produced by Reitman for his Montecito banner with Tom Pollock and Ali Bell. Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman’s spec script was first acquired by Paramount last year before Lionsgate picked it up out of turnaround after it landed atop the Black List.
Read More »

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Denis Leary Signing On As Cleveland Browns Coach In Gridiron Pic ‘Draft Day’

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 8:52am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Denis Leary has been set to star in Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed football film that stars Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Pic’s getting underway through … Read More »

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Paramount In Talks For Tom Cruise Pic ‘Our Name Is Adam,’ But Studio Punts Ivan Reitman/Kevin Costner’s ‘Draft Day’

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 6:26pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: I am hearing now that Paramount Pictures is pursuing the Tom Cruise-attached Our Name Is Adam. My bet is that the studio makes the deal. The price tag is high, but Paramount brass is doing everything they can to make the numbers work before their first look expires and others get a shot at it. In fact, they are in an exclusive negotiation now so I expect this will result in another film for Paramount and Cruise, beyond the revived Mission:Impossible franchise, Jack Reacher and possibly Top Gun 2, those three a co-production between Paramount and Skydance. Stay tuned.

EARLIER, 8:32 pm EDT EXCLUSIVE: There has been some heavy decision-making going on lately at Paramount Pictures. After the studio added the Oscar-bait Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio pic The Wolf Of Wall Street to its late 2013 slate, Paramount has just  made a free agent out of its NFL-themed film Draft Day, putting in turnaround a film that has Kevin Costner attached to star and Ivan Reitman to direct. At the same time, the studio seems likely to take a pass on Our Name Is Adam, the T.S. Nowlin-scripted science fiction pic that our sister publication Daily Variety reported has Tom Cruise circling.

Let’s take each one separately. Reitman and partner Tom Pollock developed the Moneyball-esque Draft Day, the fictional account of the events that take place on a draft day for the perennial also-ran Buffalo Bills. Costner would play the team’s GM, but timing is a major challenge for this film.

Paramount chose not to make it in the small window that Reitman has before he is expected to finally get the long-gestating Ghostbusters reboot in front of the cameras next summer for Sony Pictures (sans Bill Murray). Costner–who has made more quality sports films than any active actor–Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, Bull Durham and For Love Of The Game–is also very busy. He’s filming the Jack Ryan relaunch, and after that he has the Luc Besson pic Three Days To Kill, about a dying assassin who has a short window to clean up professional and personal loose ends. It would be tough to find room to squeeze in the football film and finish before Reitman goes back to Ghostbusters duty. Read More »

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Paramount Selects Football Comedy ‘Draft Day’ Spec With Ivan Reitman Attached

By | Wednesday June 20, 2012 @ 3:37pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired Draft Day, a comic script by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman that has Ivan Reitman attached to direct. Reitman will produce under his … Read More »

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James Mangold And Cathy Konrad Team With Montecito For ‘Juliet’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Cathy Konrad and James Mangold’s Tree Line Films will partner with Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Picture Company on an adaptation of the Anne Fortier novel Juliet. They’ve set the project at Paramount for Mangold to direct, … Read More »

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‘No Strings Attached’ Reverses Recent Row Of Rom-Com Flop Openers: Possible $20.3M

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM: Rentrak is having system issues so box office will be a bit late today. But Paramount was so worried about its No Strings Attached being a stinker that the studio didn’t even bother to give me a pre-release briefing. I don’t necessarily blame them: any movie starring Ashton Kutcher is probably a bomb since his last one — PG-13 Killers with Katherine Heigl — opened to only $15.8M for Lionsgate. And rom-coms, especially sexy R-rated ones (Ed Zwick’s Love And Other Drugs which opened to only $9.7M for Fox with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal) have been stillborn at the North American box office with this caliber of star. But No Strings Attached surprised at the box office, not only coming in No. 1 but with a decent $20.3M. Exit polls showed 70% of the audience was female, meaning it should be the least affected by football on Sunday. As for CinemaScore,  40% of those aged under 25 gave the film an “A-” while 60% over 25 scored it a “B”. 

This $25 million-cost movie started out as a Black List script titled Fuckbuddies and written by Elizabeth Merriwether. Natalie Portman came on board as a producer and star for Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock’s The Montecito Picture Company, which co-financed in partnership with Coldspring and Paramount’s usual partner Spyglass Entertainment.

Natalie is hot after her Oscar-worthy transformative performance in Black Swan and now finds herself with 2 movies in this weekend’s Top 6. And perhaps risking overexposure because of her new pics opening in January, February, April, and May. Anyway, the pic took advantage of being the only wide opening this weekend and may hang on for $20M. (Remember, it took Ron Howard’s Dilemma starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James 4 days to even make that over the MLK long holiday.) The film had been tracking strong with 20-year-old females whom Paramount pursued aggresively not with traditional newspaper ads but instead with a big Facebook push of a sexy Red Band trailer. Meanwhile, Sony’s The Green Hornet 3D and Universal’s aforementioned Dilemma look to drop more than -35% each this weekend. Here’s the Top 10:

1. No Strings Attached (Paramount) NEW [3,018 Theaters]
Friday $7.3M, Saturday $8.2M, Weekend $20.3M

2. The Green Hornet 3D (Sony) Week 2 [3,584 Theaters]
Friday $5.1M, Saturday $8.7M, Weekend $18.1M (-31%), Cume $63.4M

3. The Dilemma (Universal) Week 2 [2,943 Theaters]
Friday $3M, Saturday $4.5M, Weekend $9.9M (-33%), Cume $33.5M

4. The King’s Speech (Weinstein Co) Week 9 [1,680 Theaters]
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $3.9M, Weekend $9.1M, Cume $58.6M
Read More »

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The Challenge Of Sequelizing Ghostbusters

Mike Fleming

Every time one of the original Ghostbusters stars promotes a film, they answer the inevitable Ghostbusters III question that fuels a new round of breathless stories that turn out to be apparitions. Ivan Reitman, back as director thanks to his … Read More »

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Jeffrey Clifford Takes President Post For David Heyman’s Warner Bros-based Shingle

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jeffrey Clifford, the former creative exec at Disney and Warner Bros who ran Montecito for Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock for the last four and one-half years, will move back to the Warner Bros lot to run Heyday Films for David Heyman. The deal isn’t done but Clifford will … Read More »

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