Cuba Gooding Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Armie Hammer, Marg Helgenberger, Sir Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren, Luc Robitaille, Jon Turteltaub, Jon Voight and Diane Warren will be among those paying in-person tributes to Jerry Bruckheimer when he receives the 27th American Cinematheque award Thursday night at the Beverly Hilton. Bruce Willis will present Bruckheimer with the award. Pre-taped tributes also will be coming from Eric Bana, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Martin Lawrence and Judge Reinhold. Additional presenters will be announced as they are confirmed.
UPDATE: Jerry Bruckheimer And Paramount Ink First-Look Deal; Brett Ratner Attached To Direct ‘Beverly Hills Cop’
UPDATED: Paramount Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer are back in business together, with the free-agent producer and his Bruckheimer Films finalizing a three-year first-look deal with the studio that will begin in April 2014. “I have a lot more freedom than at Disney,” Bruckheimer told me today. Clearly, he’s referring to the fact that he can take projects elsewhere to develop if need be, something he couldn’t do at Disney. He also cited Paramount’s strong marketing and distribution team and said he was impressed with how well they handled the Brad Pitt zombie movie World War Z when the going got rough in the press.
In September, Disney announced it would not renew its first-look with one of the few brand-name producers in town — the one who begat the mega-successful Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise. That decision came as the studio said it would have to write down as much as $190 million from losses tied to The Lone Ranger, the big-budget pic from Bruckheimer that failed to pop at the box office. Bruckheimer’s films have earned a combined $16 billion over the years, with 19 of his movies topping $100 million mark in U.S. box office receipts. His deal with Disney was about the most expensive in the business, with generous overhead, 7-figure producing fees and gross.
Bruckheimer will not have a discretionary fund at Paramount.
Projects he set up at Disney will remain there until they pass on them. One of the projects Bruckheimer will take with him is Shake, a cat-and-mouse thriller about and FBI agent who is bringing in a serial killer when an earthquake happens and the killer gets loose.
The first project under the new deal, however, will be a new Beverly Hills Cop movie — a reboot of one of Bruckheimer and Paramount’s biggest successes together when he produced the original with late partner Don Simpson. Eddie Murphy closed his deal to reprise his role as Detroit cop Axel Foley — this time Foley will be returning to his Detroit roots. It will be the fourth installment of the lucrative franchise. Brett Ratner, who is currently finishing up Hercules for MGM, is attached to direct the film as soon as his duties on the Dwayne Johnson-starrer finishes up. The picture bows in July. The Beverly Hills Cop script is still being worked on.
Another big Bruckheimer-Simpson-Paramount hit in their sights: Bruckheimer as part of his deal will also produce the long-in-the-works Top Gun 2, which is being developed by Skydance Productions with Tom Cruise back in the cockpit to star.
The production deal brings another heavy hitter into the Paramount mix with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Bay, David Ellison and J.J. Abrams already there.
Jerry Bruckheimer may have his TV deal at Warner Bros, but sources say a feature deal at the studio for the producer is no longer in play. Bruckheimer now is looking to set up his lucrative production deal at Paramount. Sources close to the negotiation tell Deadline that they hope to seal a deal in the coming week but would not elaborate on the specifics — for instance, whether Bruckheimer would be given any special incentives or what the length of term might be.
Bruckheimer is one of the few brand-name producers in town, having worked for years to establish himself as such and making a mint for Disney with the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He also is one of the most expensive producer deals in town, pulling in hefty producing fees and backend deals. He has also made a name for himself in television with such successful franchises as CSI and The Amazing Race.
The producer previously had a long run at Paramount with his former producing partner, the late Don Simpson, where they churned out Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop and Flashdance in their heyday.
This is an interestingly timed bit of news. It’s been a busy week or so for Jerry Bruckheimer, who is seeing his longtime first-look film deal with Disney come to an end after this year, and his latest TV series Hostages premiered on CBS last night. He will be honored with the 27th American Cinematheque award, with the ceremony set for December 12 at the Beverly Hilton. He was a unanimous choice for the honor, the org says, which goes to “an extraordinary filmmaker in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion picture.” In reality the award usually goes to an actor, though last year’s winner Ben Stiller acts and directs. Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese have won before, but Bruckheimer seems to be the first pure producer to be honored. Here’s the official release that’s longer than the U.S. Tax Code:
In the wake of The Lone Ranger bomb that cost the studio an enormous write-down and then last week’s delaying of the next Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel, Disney says tonight that it won’t renew its movie deal with Jerry Bruckheimer when it expires next year. Here’s the release:
The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer have decided not to renew their first-look deal when it expires next year. Disney will continue to focus on its branded properties including Disney, Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm, while Bruckheimer is looking to produce more mature films outside the scope of the Disney brand. Disney and Bruckheimer will continue working together on various projects including the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Together Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have produced such blockbuster hits as the Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure films under the Disney brand as well as adult action dramas like Pearl Harbor, Armageddon,Con Air, and The Rock through the Touchstone label.
“Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry, and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades and he is a friend to many of us here at Disney,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend.”
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TV critics did not marvel at NBC doing a CBS-type drama, Mondays at 10 this fall in The Blacklist – they were more interested in ticking off the James Spader drama’s similarities to the feature film The Silence Of The Lambs. But today at TCA they did marvel at CBS doing a highly serialized drama you’d see on NBC, ABC or Fox in the same timeslot. Particularly because the event-drama thriller, Hostages, comes from Jerry Bruckheimer – the high priest of CBS procedural crime dramas. Hostages stars Toni Collette as a surgeon who is ordered to assassinate the President of the United States in order to save her family. Dylan McDermott stars as the chief hostage taker, who insists he has a really good reason for wanting POTUS dead.
“We’re doing 15 [episodes] and hope to get not only two seasons but a lot more. This is not a miniseries,” Bruckheimer said when one TV critic suggested it must be. “We normally like orders of 22” episodes, agreed Bruckheimer’s TV chief Jonathan Littman. “When you’re doing something that is this intense and this much of a thriller it’s hard to bring out 22 [episodes], with repeats and weeks off, and keep up the suspense….The series concept dictates [the format].”
Produced By Conference: Jerry Bruckheimer Says ‘Top Gun’ Sequel Still In Play, ‘Lone Ranger’ Sequel Not Set Yet
Top Gun 2 is still aiming for lift off, said Jerry Bruckheimer today. “For 30 years we’ve been trying to make a sequel and we’re not going to stop. We still want to do it with Tom [Cruise] and Paramount are still interested in making it,” the producer said Sunday at the Produced By conference. “What Tom tells me is that no matter where he goes in the world, people refer to him as Maverick,” added Bruckheimer of Tom Cruise who starred as the rebel fighter jet pilot in the original 1986 movie. “It’s something he is excited about so as long as he keeps his enthusiasm hopefully we’ll get it made,” Bruckheimer said about the sequel and its star. Bruckheimer noted that the death of original Top Gun director Tony Scott last August did put a pause on the project.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Deadline’s Pete Hammond at the PGA event, the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and this summer’s Lone Ranger producer also revealed that star Johnny Depp often travels with his Captain Jack Sparrow costume and visits children’s hospitals unannounced. “He knows he is a very fortunate person and he wants to give back,” Bruckheimer said. Praising the actor and others, Bruckheimer said the success of his films over the decades, both with partner Don Simpson and on his own, is “always about the talent… our company worships talent.”
It’s clear even from this Japanese-subtitled, English-language version that producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski have endeavored to deliver a rousing popcorn movie with Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as his spirit warrior partner Tonto. Whether they succeeded or not, we’ll find out …
Based on an Israeli format, the project, which had a pilot production commitment, centers on a family caught in the middle of a grand political conspiracy that will change their lives forever. Emmy winner Collette will play Ellen, a successful surgeon living in Washington, D.C. who is selected to operate on the President of the United States. She is thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage, and it is up to her to save the lives of her husband and children.
Hostages was originally developed for Israel’s Channel 10 by Alon Aranya, Omri Givon and Rotem Shamir. The show has not been produced in Israel, but an U.S. adaptation written by Aranya found its way to Bruckheimer TV, which bought the rights and then brought in Nachmanoff (Traitor). Nachmanoff wrote the script and will direct the pilot. He will also executive produce it with Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Givon, Rotem Shamir and Chayim Sharir. Aranya and KristieAnne Reed serve as co-executive producers. Collette won an Emmy for her starring role on the dark Showtime comedy United States Of Tara.
That was quick. Just 2 days after TNT passed on the Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot Trooper, the network is back in business with the top producer, greenlighting Marshal Law: Texas, a six-episode new unscripted drama, for a 2013 debut. The series, from Warner Horizon TV, Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Megalomedia, is set in Houston, Texas. Produced with the cooperation of The U.S. Marshal Service, it centers on the elite Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, which includes U.S. Marshals working with personnel from the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and other law-enforcement agencies. Marshal Law: Texas follows the officers as they track down extremely violent offenders, serve warrants and go on the hunt for some of America’s most wanted criminals. JBTV’s Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman executive produce with Megalomedia’s Jonathan Nowzaradan. KristieAnne Reed is co-executive producer.