EXCLUSIVE: CBS has nabbed Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson‘s best-selling global thriller. The high-profile project, which has received a rare pilot production commitment for a pitch originating from sibling CBS TV Studios, hails from writer-producers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, informally referred to as Space Floor, and producers Cathy Konrad and James Mangold via their CBS Studios-based Treeline Film. Written by Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner and Rosenberg, Zoo is set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet. A young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike. Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Konrad, Mangold and Patterson executive produce with James Patterson Entertainment’s Steve Bowen and Leopoldo Gout as well as the company’s former executive Bill Robinson who was involved in putting the project together. Konrad acquired the rights to Zoo shortly after it was published in September 2012 as a feature and then approached Patterson about adapting as a TV series.
The four person team of October Road creators Appelbaum, Nemec & Rosenberg and Pinkner executive produce the CW’s upcoming series Star Crossed and are writing a TNT drama project under Amblin TV’s 3-for-1 commitment at the network. On the feature side, among them they have co-penned Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the Beverly Hills Cop sequel, now in the works. Mangold and Konrad executive produced CBS/CBS Studios’ drama Vegas last season. All parties are repped by WME except Patterson, who is with CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Furman has been set to direct a drama series based on James Patterson’s book series Private, which is being pitched around town as a straight-to-series project. Sonar Entertainment is producing. Furman most recently directed Lionsgate’s 2011 feature The Lincoln Lawyer. John McLaughlin (The Black Swan) has written the initial two-episode pilot and will pen future episodes. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro of Tribeca Productions have become involved as exec producers in the project, which will center on the novels’ protagonist former CIA agent-turned-private eye Jack Morgan. Tribeca’s Berry Welsh will serve as co-executive producer, and Patterson exec produces along with Leopoldo Gout of James Patterson Entertainment. McLaughlin, Furman, Patterson and Tribeca Prods are repped by CAA; Furman is also repped by Atlas Entertainment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that the deal coming together will turn bestselling author James Patterson’s crime novel Double Cross into a 2nd movie starring Tyler Perry as the famous Washington DC crimefighter/psychologist. Perry’s first turn as Alex Cross opens this Friday from QED. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Gaumont International Television, the independent TV studio behind upcoming series Hannibal on NBC and Hemlock Grove on Netflix, has signed a deal with ABC for another potential straight-to-series project, James Patterson’s Bennett. The drama, based on bestselling author James Patterson’s character Michael Bennett, has received a script- to 13-episode commitment, meaning ABC has ordered a script and if the network brass likes it, it will trigger a 13-episode order. Gaumont used the same model for Hannibal, which was written by Bryan Fuller.
James Patterson’s Bennett will be written by Ildy Modrovich (Necessary Roughness), who will executive produce with Patterson. Patterson’s Bennett novels center on New York Detective Bennett, a character Patterson says was “inspired by the brave heroes of the NYPD”. The top-selling New York detective series of all time, it consists of five novels so far: Step On A Crack (2009), Run For Your Life (2009), Worst Case (2009), Tick Tock (2010) and I, Michael Bennett (2012). Read More »
Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.
Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired remake rights to Phasma ex Machina, the small independent feature directing debut by Matt Osterman that was the toast of the genre film festival circuit. The studio acquired the project as a pitch for a horror movie called Our House, and the studio has attached Gary Shore to direct the remake and Nathan Parker to write it. John Davis is the producer along with Nick Spicer of XYZ Films. Shore and Parkers are already collaborating on a feature version of Cup of Tears for Universal and Working Title, based on the stylized samurai short film that Shore directed. That short has created heat and prompted Universal to make several deals with him. I’m told that the hope is for Shore to direct Phasma ex Machina, potentially follow with an adaptation of the James Patterson book series Maximum Ride, and then helm a feature version of Cup of Tears. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Productions has set Rob Cohen to direct Bullet Run, an Andrew Hilton-scripted action film that puts Cohen back on the fast car track he was on when he helmed The Fast & The Furious. Voltage Productions producers Nicolas … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder. The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.
Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry … Read More »
QED has packaged an adaptation of I, Alex Cross, the James Patterson novel that is essentially a reboot of the James Patterson mystery series that starred Morgan Freeman as the detective/psychologist based in D.C. Tyler Perry will headline this version, … Read More »
Bedbugs have run rampant in New York City offices this summer (Bedbugs In CBS’ NY Offices), and Grand Central Publishing is the latest haunt to catch the bug. The publisher, whose Park Avenue offices near Grand Central Station are home … Read More »
Amazon.com is crowing that for the first time, its e-book sales volume has surpassed hardcovers. Am I the only one who sees this as an apocalyptic sign for the great pleasure of book reading? Amazon’s basing its assertion on sales figures … Read More »