Chernin Entertainment today upped Jenno Topping to President of films, less than two years after she was hired as EVP of the division. Topping is currently producing the Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat with director Paul Feig and Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark. Before joining the company she was a producer at Columbia Pictures racking up credits including Country Strong, the Charlie’s Angels movies, 28 Days, and Can’t Hardly Wait. In a parallel move, David Ready has been hired as Senior VP, reporting to Topping. He comes to Chernin Entertainment after serving as SVP of Production for di Bonaventura Pictures, where he had been working as executive producer on Summit Entertainment’s Red 2 and co-producer on Paramount’s Jack Ryan.
EXCLUSIVE: While screenwriter Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn are expected to return for the sequel to X-Men: First Class, Goldman is in talks with 20th Century Fox on another priority project with a major director. She’ll adapt Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that Chernin Entertainment is producing, and Tim Burton is circling to direct.
Goldman most recently adapted The Woman In Black, the CBS Films thriller that stars Daniel Radcliffe. In Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Jacob is a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, he can see the children were more than peculiar, they might have been there because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are still lurking around. Peter Chernin, …
EXCLUSIVE: In a match that seems ideal, Tim Burton is in early talks to come aboard Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment acquired last spring. Burton is in talks to develop the book as a potential directing project, and he would be involved in setting a writer to adapt the tale.
It involves Jacob, a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, he can see the children were more than peculiar, they might have been there because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are still lurking around. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment has acquired Untitled Foreign Exchange, a comedy pitch that Shawn Harwell will write and Jeff Tomsic will direct. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping will produce for Chernin Entertainment, which won the pitch with a preemptive offer made from the company’s discretionary fund. Tomsic gets the directing job after helming a number of shorts, including I’m Having A Difficult Time Killing My Parents, which debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. He’s also directed shows for MTV and VH1 and campaigns for Dr. Pepper, Hasbro and other brands. Harwell cowrote Dog Fight, the Warner Bros comedy that Jay Roach is directing with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. He also scripted Hench with Danny McBride for Warner Bros and Neal Moritz, and was a staff writer in McBride’s HBO Series Eastbound & Down. Both are repped by CAA and Tomsic is managed by Generate.
Paul Greengrass In ‘Fear Index,’ Robert Zemeckis Out Of ‘Replay’ As He Takes ‘Flight’ With Denzel Washington
Back in June, Deadline revealed that Fox 2000 had acquired the Robert Harris thriller novel Fear Index, about a scientist who uses a revolutionary system of computer algorithms to trade on the volatility of the world’s financial markets. His hedge fund is wildly successful until he is targeted by an intruder who breaks into his home. At the time, I’d heard that Paul Greengrass was attached to direct, and his reps at CAA denied it. I wrote it anyway. Now, Harris has said in an interview for his soon to be published book that Greengrass is indeed going to direct and the filmmaker’s reps are now acknowledging it’s true. The novel will be published next month in the UK and January in the US. Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are the producers. and Harris is scripting it. Greengrass next directs the Somali pirate pic A Captain’s Duty with Tom Hanks starring for Sony Pictures.
Robert Zemeckis has officially dropped out of the Warner Bros drama Replay, and the studio is trying to put the Jason Smilovic-scripted film back together with another filmmaker. Zemeckis exited because he has finally committed to direct Denzel Washington in the Paramount thriller Flight.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment have teamed on a deal for screen rights to the upcoming Robert Harris novel The Fear Index, a thriller Knopf will publish in January in the US after a September UK release. The pic will be produced by Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping. I’d initially heard that director Paul Greengrass might be involved, but his reps say that while he and the author go back to their BBC days, the filmmaker isn’t part of this deal.
The thriller involves a scientist who figures out how to use a revolutionary system of computer algorithms to trade on the world’s financial markets. His hedge fund, which is built around the standard measure of market volatility–called the Fear Index–reaps huge returns. Late one night while he’s asleep with his wife in their house beside Lake Geneva, an intruder awakens them. Over the course of a day, the scientist needs to figure out who’s trying to destroy him as the world’s financial markets teeter on collapse.
Harris’ books have always been magnets for movie deals. Roman Polanski directed The Ghost Writer based on his novel The Ghost, and Selling Hitler, Fatherland, Pompeii and Archangel have all been turned into telepics or miniseries. CAA made the deal.
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Chernin’s production company has quietly brought in veteran movie producer Jenno Topping to be EVP of the film department reporting to its president Dylan Clark. People who do business with the company say she’s already in place. I’m told she reports to Clark but appears to be running the film side alongside him. While Clark was an eight-year Universal Pictures executive and former EVP of Production there before starting at Chernin Entertainment 18 months ago, Topping has hands-on filmmaking experience especially on Sony Pictures productions. She had a first-look deal with Sony’s Columbia Pictures for nearly a decade before partnering with actor Tobey Maguire at his Columbia-based Maguire Entertainment where she oversaw the development slate and day-to-day production. But Chernin retired as News Corp’s No. 2 with an amazing goodbye package that included “put” Fox films and TV shows which is something no one gets in Hollywood these days. So working for his company is considered a sweet film gig. UPDATE: An insider tells me: “I think this is much more straightforward than people are trying to interpret. Dylan wanted help running the group (especially with production since he was gone for 4 months this summer to produce Rise Of The Apes). He went looking, found Jenno, and brought her to Peter. This is just trying to improve and upgrade the operation.”
Topping most recently produced Country Strong, and her other credits include Catch And Release, Guess Who, the Charlie’s Angels franchise, 28 Days, Dr Doolittle, Can’t Hardly Wait, and The Brady Bunch Movie. Previously …