EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk’s Bad Robot are gearing up on their film about disgraced bike racer Lance Armstrong. I’m told that they are setting D.V. DeVincentis to write the script for a movie centering around the book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur. She’s the reporter who covered Armstrong for more than a decade at The New York Times. That period spanned his near-fatal bout with testicular cancer to his capturing glory with seven Tour de France titles. Those honors have been stripped after Armstrong finally copped to the swirl of rumors that he engaged in doping that upped his endurance and strength and made him unbeatable.
Paramount is in a three-bike race to make movies on Armstrong, and I’m not sure all three of these will happen, as compelling as the arrogant Armstrong’s downfall might be. Paramount was actually the first studio to declare it would make an Armstrong project, but since then, two other substantial film projects have cropped up. That includes the Studio Canal-funded, Working Title-produced pic that Stephen Frears is directing with Lone Survivor’s Ben Foster playing Armstrong and Chris O’Dowd playing journalist David Walsh, from a script by Trance‘s John Hodge. He adapted sportswriter Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong. That movie’s almost done shooting, and surely will be first to the screen. READ MORE »
Related: ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Gets December 2015 Release Date
Changing the screenplay team on the new Star Wars movie was all about time, said JJ Abrams today. “It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” said the Episode VII director Thursday. “Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable,” Abrams told Deadline. The upcoming Disney project is set to be released in 2015. On October 24, it was announced that Abrams would take over the writing of the script for the upcoming new Star Wars pic with Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Oscar winner and Hunger Games: Catching Fire scribe Michael Arndt had been on board as writing the script based on treatments he had drafted. The new Star Wars movie is set to start filming early next year in the UK. The Stars Wars: Episode VII director was participating in a media conference call Thursday with his fellow Almost Human EP J.H. Wyman on the upcoming Fox series. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: We know that Paramount and Skydance Productions lost JJ Abrams as the director of the third installment of Star Trek when Abrams took on Star Wars. I’m … Read More »
It wasn’t a new secret film that JJ Abrams and Bad Robot were teasing last month after all when they dropped that mysterious one-minute Stranger video. The Star Wars Episode VII helmer revealed the true nature of the project today: S. is a forthcoming … Read More »
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 »
JJ Abrams‘ Bad Robot today unveiled a video titled Stranger without explanation, launching yet another of their mystery-filled projects. Back in April Bad Robot optioned Stephen King’s 11/22/63, about a man who travels back in time to try and prevent JFK’s assassination. Abrams, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With buzz heating up at Comic-Con over network shows and new series, indie documentary Showrunners is primed to capture the zeitgeist. Director Des Doyle nabbed interviews with some of TV’s biggest and brightest creators, including JJ Abrams (Lost), Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Hart Hanson (Bones), and Jane Espenson (Once Upon A Time). Submarine Entertainment snatched up US distribution and worldwide sales rights on the Black Sheep Productions pic, which held its own panel today at the pop culture confab. “We are very excited to be working with Des Doyle and the team on their amazing behind the scenes documentary Showrunners, which reveals the seductive, yet terrifying, world of being in charge of running a television show,” said Submarine’s Co-President Dan Braun announcing the deal. “The unprecedented access and attention to detail they achieved in this film is impressive and unique.” Showrunners takes a behind the scenes look at the writing, development, and production side of television from the captain’s chair. Project got its start with backing from the Irish Film Board and a Kickstarter campaign that grew fan interest online. Among the TV heads featured in the film: Matthew Carnahan (House Of Lies), Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus: War Of The Damned), Chris Downey (Leverage), Mike Kelley (Revenge), Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris), Damon Lindelof (Lost), Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Jeff Melvoin (Army Wives), Jeff Pinkner (Fringe), John Rogers (Leverage), Mike Royce (Men Of A Certain Age), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), David Shore (House M.D.), Janet Tamaro (Rizzoli & Isles), Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire), and J.H. Wyman (Fringe). Read More »
UPDATE, 12:37 PM: JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot has three WBTV series on the producer’s Comic-Con schedule, but his name is not on any panel lists. Turns out he’ll be in Maine that week with his family, he tells Deadline. With as many projects JJ has in the works tailor-made for the Comic-Con crowd (on both the TV and film sides), it’s notable that he won’t be around.
PREVIOUS, 10:45 AM: Warner Bros TV is sending 17 series to San Diego for Comic-Con this year including Arrow, The Big Bang Theory, Childrens Hospital, The Following, Nikita (ahead of its final season), Person Of Interest, Revolution, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Originals, The Tomorrow People, The 100, Beware The Batman, MAD, Teen Titans Go! and The Paranormal And Extraterrestrial Squad. That puts high-profile producers Greg Berlanti, Eric Kripke, Jonathan Nolan, Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson on panel duty for the confab, set for July 18-21. (One interesting note: Absent from the panelist lists is Person Of Interest-Revolution-Almost Human exec producer JJ Abrams, who could always pop in but might have other commitments on the film side). During Preview Night on July 17, the production giant will screen the complete pilot episodes of Almost Human, The Tomorrow People and The 100 for the first time as well as a special presentation of The Originals featuring never-before-seen footage that did not air as part of “The Originals” episode of The Vampire Diaries episode in April. Here’s the panel lineup: Read More »
“I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before,” said JJ Abrams today about the challenges of directing the new Star Wars movie. Abrams also revealed that production on Star Wars Episode VII is set to start right at the beginning of 2014. “Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,” said the Star Trek Into Darkness director Saturday at the Produced By conference on the Fox lot. Abrams added that the overseas shoot “drives me insane” as he would have liked to film the movie in LA. He also noted that the plan to shoot Star Wars Episode VII for Disney in the UK was set before he was brought on board. The director joked that getting the offer to helm the new Star Wars was the only thing that would have caused him to postpone a long set family vacation.
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UPDATED 1:46 PM: Star attraction President Obama told some of the Hollywood’s biggest players and his biggest contributors that he understands if they’re feeling “donor fatigue” from all the … Read More »
SPOILER ALERT! JJ Abrams has taken some heat about a scene in Star Trek Into Darkness where Kirk (Chris Pine) gets a quick look at Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in her underwear. Answering to charges of sexism on Conan, Abrams said he thought the scene … Read More »
This marks the second time a recent Jimmy Kimmel audience has gotten face time with a Star Wars principal after Harrison Ford’s awkward reunion with a former co-star back in April. Last night the Episode VII director — who is making the talk-show rounds to promote Star Trek … Read More »
Here’s one way to ditch a dominant fandom for the next: On the eve of his Star Trek Into Darkness release and impending space jump to Disney‘s Star Wars Episode VII, avowed Star Wars kid J.J. Abrams took to The … Read More »
J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot is in negotiations for the rights to Stephen King‘s bestselling 2011 novel 11/22/63. The deal is being done through Warner Bros TV, where Bad Robot is under a deal. I … Read More »
Here’s yet another trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, this time with an extra dose of Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain. The film is set for a May 17 release in the U.S. with IMAX 3D screenings starting May 15. The UK release was just moved up by … Read More »
After very lengthy negotiations, Karl Urban has closed a deal to star opposite Michael Ealy in Fox‘s untitled J.H. Wyman/J.J. Abrams drama pilot (formerly Inhuman). The project reunites Urban, who plays Bones in the Star … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The doping scandal that enveloped the Tour de France and led to the downfall of 7-time champion Lance Armstrong is now the focus of movies being developed by two major studios. Warner Bros has just acquired an untitled project from Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Alex Gartner that will be scripted by Side Effects scribe Scott Z. Burns to be directed by Jay Roach. Roach, coming off the Emmy-winning HBO pics Game Change and Recount, will produce with Roven and Gartner. The package includes the life rights of Tyler Hamilton, the former professional bike racer who was in Armstrong’s inner circle on the US Postal Service Team.
A former Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion, Hamilton was one of the first insiders to testify under oath and come forward publicly–on 60 Minutes—to break the code of silence. Michael Radutzky, an executive producer at CBS News and senior producer for 60 Minutes, is also in talks to produce. The studio is in talks to acquire confidential rights of other key individuals involved in the story, and all of this creates the tapestry to explore the biggest and most sophisticated doping scandal in the history of sports. Read More »