EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning scribe Dustin Lance Black has been set to script Earthquake, a big scale disaster film for Universal that is being produced by JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and their Bad Robot banner. While Universal made the 1974 film that starred Charlton Heston, I’m told that the title and natural disaster subject is all the films share. So it is not a remake.
This puts Universal potentially in a competitive situation with New Line, which has a 3D earthquake project set up under the title San Andreas 3D.
There have been rumblings of an earthquake film from Abrams and Universal since 2008, when the project was first set up with The Omen‘s David Seltzer writing. It languished, but now the project is regaining momentum. Black won his Oscar for Milk, and followed with J. Edgar. He most recently has been adapting the Jon Krakauer book Under the Banner of Heaven at Warner Bros for Ron Howard to direct and Brian Grazer to produce through Imagine, and he scripted Barefoot Bandit for Fox. He’s currently adapting the Dark Horse graphic novel 3 Story as a directing vehicle, with Laurence Mark producing. He’s repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is mobilizing a sci-fi film called Collider, and it is a collision of several of the top guys in the genre. Edgar Wright will direct the film, and he is co-writing the script with I … Read More »
Lost alumna Elizabeth Mitchell is reuniting with the ABC drama’s co-creator/executive producer JJ Abrams. Mitchell is joining Abrams/Eric Kripke’s upcoming NBC series Revolution as a regular. The action drama, which landed NBC’s marquee post-The Voice time slot, follows … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount is wrapping up a seven-figure deal for screen rights to the Jonathan Tropper novel One Last Thing Before I Go. The film will be produced by JJ Abrams through the Bad Robot banner. The book will be published in August by Dutton. The deal was made in an competitive situation with multiple studios involved. The deal includes Tropper writing the script.
Here’s the logline: Book focuses on Silver, a man in full midlife crisis. He has begun to accept that life isn’t going to turn out as he expected, with his ex about to marry a guy too nice for Silver to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant — because he’s the one she cares least about letting down. With the wedding looming and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles, bonds, and comes together only to risk damaging each other even more. Silver has another major complication: he discovers he could die at any moment without an operation he refuses to have. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, the last pilot lead this season has been cast. Zachary Abel (Make It Or Brake It) has landed the lead role in the CW’s Mark Schwahn/J.J. Abrams drama pilot Shelter. Also cast in the Warner … Read More »
The Cape star David Lyons has been cast in the JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke NBC drama pilot, directed by Jon Favreau, about a group of survivors in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist. He will play the charismatic Marine Bass, a role which became vacant after Billy Burke, who was originally cast in the role, was just promoted to play the lead Miles. Burke’s deal for that has now closed. Also cast in the pilot is Maria Howell in the supporting role of the regal and fiercely intelligent Grace.
Trent Ford (The Vampire Diaries) has been cast in a supporting role in another Abrams-produced drama pilot, the CW’s Shelter, set at an historic New England summer resort. Ford, repped by Global Artists Agency and Luber Roklin, will play Tyler Green, a former British rock star staying in the penthouse at the Shelter Bay Inn.
NeNe Leakes, who has been recurring on the current season of Glee as rival cheerleading coach Roz Washington, is re-teaming with Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy on his NBC comedy pilot The New Normal, about a blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate. On the project, co-created by Ali Adler, The Real Housewives Of Atlanta star NeNe will play the heavily recurring role of Rocky. She is with The Collective and attorney Darrell Miller. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Twilight‘s Billy Burke will play the lead in NBC’s untitled JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke drama pilot (form. Revolution), directed by Jon Favreau. The high-octane action drama follows a group of people struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in … Read More »
John Schoenfelder is leaving Mulholland Books to be SVP for producer Scott Rudin. Schoenfelder spent 2 1/2 years at Mulholland, and the same amount of time at the St. Martin’s Press imprint Thomas Dunne. His choices as … Read More »
Giancarlo Esposito, hot off his villainous turn on AMC’s Breaking Bad, has been tapped for a lead role on NBC’s JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke drama pilot Revolution, directed by Jon Favreau. The high-octane action drama follows a group of people struggling … Read More »
The CW today gave the green light to three more drama pilots: J.J. Abrams and Mark Schwahn’s Shelter; Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain’s The Selection; and Bert Royal’s Joey Dakota, which has Mark Harmon executive producing. That brings the total number of hourlong pilots picked up at the CW this year to … Read More »
It feels like the window for picking up broadcast pilots has shrunk over the past few years. The network used to start slowly after the holidays, focusing almost entirely on drama pilot orders in January before moving to comedy in February. And here we are at the end of January, with the networks almost done with their picks after juggling both drama and comedy orders from the get-go. I hear done for the season are CBS drama, NBC comedy and Fox drama (with the possible exception of an off-cycle order to action drama Hieroglyph.) Of course, there is always the chance for a last-minute hot spec like the Joe Port-Joe Wiseman-Steve Levitan comedy, which hit the marketplace yesterday.
The $2 million question remaining at NBC is the Eric Kripke/JJ Abrams drama Revolution, the last big piece on the NBC slate still in limbo. The thriller, which has a production commitment, went through a rewrite and is yet to get a green light, which is surprising given the fact that it carries a massive $2 million penalty rolled over from Abrams’ project at NBC last year.
Another project from A-list auspices with a big commitment attached to it is eying what could be the last comedy slot at Fox, Goodwin Games, from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and the show’s EP Chris Harris. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: J.J. Abrams is headed to the CW. In his first stint at the 5-year-old network, the top writer-producer-director has teamed up with Mark Schwahn, creator/executive producer/showrunner of the CW’s long-running drama One Tree Hill. The power pair has sold a hotel drama to the CW, which will instantly become one of the the network’s highest-profile projects this development season. Schwahn will write the show, tentatively titled Maine, which is set at an inn in Maine and revolves around the staff and the inn’s guests. Abrams and Schwahn will executive produce with Bryan Burk for Warner Bros TV, Abrams’ studio-based Bad Robot and Schwahn’s Mastermind Laboratories. In scope, the character-based drama, which has received a script commitment, harkens to Schwahn’s OTH, which will end its nine-year run early next year, and Abrams’ Felicity. This also marks a homecoming of sorts for Abrams, who started his TV career on the CW predecessor the WB with Felicity. For Schwahn, the project stems from a script deal with WBTV. Read More »
Peter Weller’s reps confirm he’s joining the cast of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, in what is a principal role but one they would not specify. Weller, best known in feature sci-fi circles for his iconic role as Robocop, has … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Top literary managers David Lonner and Larry Shuman are in serious talks to merge their companies, Oasis Media Group and The Shuman Co, respectively. In the scenario being discussed, Shuman and Lonner and his Oasis partner John Mass would join forces under the Oasis umbrella, tied to an effort to secure financing to expand the business. If it closes, the merger would bring under the same roof such feature and TV heavyweights as JJ Abrams, Brad Silberling, Jon Turteltaub, Shawn Ryan and David Shore. While 2-year-old Oasis has some TV clients — crossover A-lister Abrams and ER and Detroit 1-8-7 showrunner David Zabel — the company skews heavily towards features with a client list that includes Abrams, Silberling, Turteltaub, Peter Sollett, Michael Tolkin, Audrey Wells and Rob Minkoff. Meanwhile, Shuman, who has run his boutique company for 20 years, has a TV-heavy roster that includes House creator Shore, The Shield creator Ryan, Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny (co-creators of A&E’s upcoming series Longmire) and The Inside and Drive co-creator Tim Minear. Among Shuman’s handful of crossover clients is TV writer Carl Ellsworth, who segued into features with Red Eye and Disturbia. But overall, there is little overlap between Oasis and the Shuman Co’s areas of coverage, making a merger one where the pieces fit and would give the combined company heft in both film and television. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot have hired JD Payne and Patrick McKay to write the script for Boilerplate, based on the Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett graphic novel Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel. Bad Robot will produce with … Read More »
Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions has released a full-length trailer for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment of the franchise that was once left for dead after Tom Cruise’s acrimonious departure from the studio. Cruise and JJ Abrams produced the film and put back together the pieces, and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are getting the job turning the Hasbro toyline Micronauts into a feature film for JJ Abrams and Paramount Pictures. Along with the prospect of another Transformers film, Micronauts was one of the Hasbro brands … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has acquired an untitled project that will team screenwriter Billy Ray with JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot banner. I’m told Ray and Abrams hatched the pitch together, and that it’s a mystery adventure.
… Read More »