HBO Gives Series Order To Comedy Pilot ‘The Brink’ Starring Jack Black & Tim Robbins, From Jay Roach & Jerry Weintraub

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 2:04pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

timrobbinsjackblackEXCLUSIVE: In a very quick turnaround, HBO has given a series order to The Brink, its comedy pilot starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, directed by Jay Roach and executive produced by Jerry Weintraub. Written by former Weeds executive producer Roberto Benabib and his brother Kim Benabib, The Brink is an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Robbins); Alex Coppins (Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Callahan (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War III. Aasif Mandvi, Maribeth Monroe, Geoff Pierson, Esai Morales and Eric Ladin co-star on the series, executive produced by Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Roach. Kim Benabib and Susie Ekins co-executive produce.

jayroach25th Annual Producers Guild Of America Awards - ArrivalsThis marks the first HBO series for Weintraub and Roach, who both have deals with the pay cable network and established relationships there. Weintraub executive produced HBO Films’ Emmy-winning movie Behind The Candelabra, while Roach directed and exec produced the Emmy-winning HBO movies Game Change and Recount.

The Brink’s road to HBO’s primetime started with an email Weintraub received while in Europe, which contained the Benabibs’ script. “I read it and I fell in love with it,” he said. When he came back to Los Angeles, Weintraub had lunch with Roach about a movie project where hbo45__130924185923-275x112Roach mentioned that he had been looking to do a half-hour comedy. Weintraub ran to his office and brought Roach The Brink script. Joking that Roach “is famous for taking three years to make up his mind” on anything, Wentraub heard from the director the very next day. “He calls me and he says, ‘I’m in, the script is too good’.” Read More »

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Bette Midler To Play Mae West In HBO Films Biopic From William Friedkin

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 3:21pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

bettemidlerMaeWestEXCLUSIVE: The Divine Miss M. is taking on the great Mae West. HBO Films has put in development Mae West, a movie about the true Hollywood original, with Bette Midler attached to star and executive produce. The project is the brainchild of William Friedkin (The Exorcist), who will direct and executive produce. Broadway heavyweight Harvey Fierstein, who recently penned the book for Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots, is writing the script. Also executive producing is Jerry Weintraub, who executive produced HBO Films’ Emmy-winning Behind The Candelabra. Mae West, based on West’s autobiography Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, chronicles West’s rise friedkinto stardom when she takes New York by storm after writing and starring in her scandalous Broadway show Sex and battles authorities over obscenity charges. Instead of taking the road of a wide-eyed Hollywood ingenue, West forged her own path, writing and starring in her own risqué plays, including her breakthrough Sex, which had her prosecuted and sentenced to 10 days in prison for “corrupting the morals of youth.” The notoriety fueled her career and didn’t stop her from tackling taboo subjects in her next plays, including 1928 hit Diamond Lil, about a racy 1890s woman, which opened the doors to Hollywood for her. Read More »

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Hollywood Film Awards: Oscar Hopefuls Turn Out In Force But Does It Have Any Impact?

Pete Hammond

Nancy O’Dell, host for the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards on Monday night at the Beverly Hilton, looked across the impressive star-studded room and said, “This is just like the Oscars”. Uh, not exactly. It’s not just like the Golden Globes or The Critics Choice Awards either, but it’s become a pretty good warm-up act for all of them. ”We used to make fun of this show, but not so much anymore,” said one industry observer. In fact the cover of the slick program says it all: “First mandatory stop in the awards season”. And this brainchild of Carlos de Abreu, who is the arbiter and chief negotiator of who gets what, has really been growing. The studios seem to love it because they essentially get to dictate the winners and plant a flag for one film or another early in the season. No one takes the actual award too seriously, but getting the opportunity to be seen holding that award is another thing altogether.

In its early days, stars would come in the back of the Hilton, make an appearance onstage to accept an award and get a photo op, and then make a hasty retreat. Now, most of them stayed all night for the nearly three-and-a-half hour show, schmoozing, seeing old friends and subtly campaigning. One person at the Disney table where I was sitting (director Dan Scanlon won the Hollywood Animation Award for Pixar’s smash sequel Monsters University) put it succinctly, saying about the appeal of this show: “If they show up, it’s worth it. If they don’t show up, it’s not worth it”. They showed up.

And there was lots of high star-wattage in the room including various winners like Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, plus presenters like Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr, Kanye West, Geoffrey Rush, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jane Fonda, Forest Whitaker and others. Hollywood Song Award winner Chris Martin of Coldplay even performed his tune Atlas from the upcoming The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire, the first song the group has written for a film.

Studio heads like 20th Century Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara, Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley, Sony Pictures Classics’ Tom Bernard and Harvey Weinstein were also in the room for the show which has never been televised — but will be next year according to an announcement by O’Dell. Dick Clark Productions, which also produces the Globes,  has now got a stake in the event and plans to start exploiting it in 2014. Just how it will all play on TV is anybody’s guess when there are no nominees only winners, and most of the viewers will not have seen any of the movies rewarded on this very early mid-October Hollywood lovefest (hell, not many of the industry audience or even the presenters had seen most of the films yet). Read More »

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Comedy From Roberto Benabib, Jay Roach, Jerry Weintraub Gets HBO Pilot Order

By | Friday September 20, 2013 @ 6:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Former Weeds executive producer Roberto Benabib is taking on another dark comedy premium cable project. He has teamed with HBO-based producers Jay Roach and … Read More »

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Series Adaptation Of ‘Westworld’ From J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan & Jerry Weintraub Gets Pilot Production Commitment At HBO

By | Friday August 30, 2013 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In one of the biggest commitments ever for HBO, the pay cable network has nabbed Westworld, a drama series inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie. The project, from J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot, Person Of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan, producer Jerry Weintraub and Warner Bros TV, has received a pilot production commitment. It marks the first major cable sale for Bad Robot, which had been focused on broadcast TV for the past few years with such series as Fringe, Person Of Interest, Revolution and the upcoming Believe. Written by Nolan and Lisa Joy (Burn Notice), Westworld is described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. WME-repped Nolan is set to direct the pilot, which he and UTA-repped Joy will executive produce with Abrams, Weintraub and Bryan Burk. Kathy Lingg is co-executive producing, while Athena Wickam serves as a producer. Warner Bros TV is producing with Bad Robot, Jerry Weintraub Prods. and Kilter Films. Read More »

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Hollywood Power Players Hosting April Fundraiser For Newark Mayor’s Undeclared Senate Race

Cory Booker hasn’t officially said he’s running to become New Jersey’s next Senator but Hollywood is planning to shovel money into his campaign treasure chest. Anointing Booker as Hollywood’s new favorite politician, invites went out this week for a “Special Evening In LA” April 25 fundraiser for the Newark Mayor at the Beverly Hills home of producer Jerry Weintraub and girlfriend, producer Susan Ekins. The event has a marquee host list that cuts across party lines and into deep wallets. It costs $5,000 a ticket to attend the fundraiser with the money going to Cory Booker For Senate. The event is one of eight the telegenic Democrat has lined up in the next two months in anticipation of a 2014 run to replace departing fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg in the heavily Blue state. The Beverly Hills fundraiser certainly shows that backing a potential winner cuts across party lines. Republicans like Bush family confidante Weintraub and Bruce Willis are listed on the invite but so are avowed Democrats like Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the largest single contributors to Barack Obama’s reelection, Steven Spielberg and new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and their wives Kate Capshaw and Katie McGrath.

Related: President Obama Thanks Katzenbergs For “Tireless” Support
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Showtime Orders Climate Change Docu Series Produced By James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub And Arnold Schwarzenegger

By | Monday December 3, 2012 @ 10:53am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Showtime has ordered Years Of Living Dangerously, a documentary series which explores the human impact of climate change. It is executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with Emmy-winning 60 Minutes producers Joel … Read More »

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Warner Bros Takes On Hugh Hefner Pic, Jerry Weintraub To Produce

By | Monday March 5, 2012 @ 5:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

Hugh Hefner MovieEXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is matching an iconic film subject with an iconic producer. The studio has taken over Playboy, a project about Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner, with Jerry Weintraub taking over the film as … Read More »

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HBO Picks Up Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace Film Starring Michael Douglas & Matt Damon

By | Tuesday October 11, 2011 @ 10:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Steven Soderbergh’s long-gestating Liberace feature is headed to HBO. HBO Films has greenlighted for production Behind The Candelabra, which will be directed by Soderbergh. It takes a behind-the-scenes … Read More »

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Tony Scott Boarding ‘The Wild Bunch’ While Revving ‘Hell’s Angels’ As Next Pic

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline revealed this morning that Ridley Scott was returning to his sci-fi classic Blade Runner. His Scott Free partner and brother Tony Scott is also getting serious about a new version of a movie classic. Scott … Read More »

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Craig Brewer Makes ‘Tarzan’ Deal, Writing Ape Man Saga As Trilogy

By | Thursday June 2, 2011 @ 9:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has locked Craig Brewer into a deal to write and direct a new installment of Tarzan. Brewer has come up with a take that tells the Tarzan story over three films. He hopes the first one will … Read More »

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Jerry Weintraub Follows In Bob Evans’ Footsteps With HBO Documentary

By | Wednesday February 2, 2011 @ 3:58pm PST
Mike Fleming

NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2011 – Legendary film producer and personal manager Jerry Weintraub steps out from behind the scenes as he takes his turn in the spotlight with the feature-length documentary HIS WAY, acquired by HBO Documentary Films from Polsky Films. Directed by Oscar® nominee Douglas McGrath, produced

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George Clooney Does Jerry Weintraub Impressions After Recovering From Malaria

By | Thursday January 20, 2011 @ 12:06pm PST

George Clooney’s PR informs that the actor/director “is completely over the Malaria he contracted while in the Sudan during the first week in January. This was his second bout with it.” According to Clooney, “This illustrates how with proper medication, the most lethal condition in Africa, can be reduced to … Read More »

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Betty White For ‘Oh God’ Film Remake?

By | Monday July 12, 2010 @ 1:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

betty-white-10oh-godWarner Bros and producer Jerry Weintraub have tried long and hard to mount a remake of the 1977 George Burns comedy Oh, God! I’m told Weintraub just pitched the studio a new … Read More »

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