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Mark Millar Raving Over Carnahan Clan Adaptation Of ‘Nemesis’

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 11:14am PDT
Mike Fleming

Looks like the high-octane sibling team of Joe and Matthew Michael Carnahan have nailed the script for the screen adaptation of Nemesis, the beloved work by Wanted and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar. The project is set at Fox, and this guy isn’t easy to please. Here’s Millar’s evaluation of what the Carnahans have accomplished after they gave Millar the script.

How can I put this?

Nemesis is one of the most relentless and powerful screenplays I’ve ever read. I was actually SHELL-SHOCKED after reading it, thinking about it for hours afterwards and discussing it with the family. As a movie, the Carnahans have crafted something we’ve never actually seen before and I feel like someone in Julia Phillips’ office must have felt when Schrader’s TAXI DRIVER script first landed on their desk. This is going to be one of the best movies of the decade. The fact that it’s a SUPERHERO movie is incredibly exciting to me. This is the next step for where a comic-book adaptation can go and, simply as a viewer, I’m now counting down the days until I can sit in a screening room and see the first cut.

This is going to be MASSIVE.

Read More »

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CBS To Adapt Anne Rice’s ‘Seraphim’ Novels As Drama Project With Timberman-Beverly, ‘Memphis Beat’ Creators & Joe Carnahan

By | Wednesday September 25, 2013 @ 7:04pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: CBS has put in development Angel Time, a drama series project based on the characters in Anne Rice’s The Songs of the Seraphim novels. Named after the first book in the series, Angel Time hails from CBS Studios and Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman’s studio-based Timberman-Beverly Prods. Joe Carnahan is set to direct the project, with Rice executive producing. Written by Memphis Beat creators Josh Harto and Liz Garcia, Angel Time is a New Orleans-set high-stakes, operatic drama about Toby O’Dare, a soulless assassin with a tragic past who finds himself on a road to redemption. Harto and Garcia are executive producing the project with Rice, Carnahan, Timberman and Beverly. Read More »

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Jessica Alba Joins Joe Carnahan’s ‘Stretch’

By | Tuesday July 23, 2013 @ 1:55pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have added another big name to their micro-budget action-comedy Stretch. Jessica Alba joins Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, Chris Pine, and Brooklyn Decker in a supporting role in the pic directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey). Stretch follows a limo driver (Wilson) on his last shift who picks up a billionaire (Pine) whose freaky special requests get darker as the night rolls on. The March 21, 2014 release is being produced by Jason Blum as part of his first-look deal with Universal. Carnahan is also producing with Tracy Falco and Leon Corcos. Nila Najand will co-produce. Charles Layton is aboard as executive producer. Alba just wrapped Film Arcade’s A.C.O.D. and appears in IFC’s Will Ferrell fronted spoof The Spoils Of Babylon. She returns to Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City franchise next summer in Dimension’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Alba is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment.

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Universal And Blumhouse Set ‘Stretch’ As Follow Up To Micro-Hit ‘Purge’; Joe Carnahan Directs

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has signed on to distribute North American and U.K. on Stretch, the Joe Carnahan-directed action comedy from Blumhouse Productions. It will be released March 21, 2014. The film, which stars Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, Chris Pine and Brooklyn Decker, becomes the second micro-budget genre movie in the first-look deal that Jason Blum’s Blumhouse signed with the studio. They got off to a flying start on that deal with The Purge, the $3 million film that was released June 7 and so far has grossed north of $55 million domestic, with a sequel in the works.

Universal has set a March 21 release date for the under-$5 million Stretch, which stars Wilson as a limo driver who discovers he only has one shift left to pay off a big debt, and he rolls the dice. When the chauffeur picks up a reclusive billionaire (Pine) with some deviant appetites, the driver vows to fulfill the guy’s every request, no matter how weird, to score the big tip that could square him. But as the night grows stranger and the driver is pushed into some very dangerous encounters, he worries that the freak in his back seat might just be his final fare. Blum is producing, and so are Carnahan and Tracy Falco. Leon Corcos and Nila … Read More »

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A&E Buys Amateur Bull Riding Drama From Joe Carnahan & Timberman-Beverly

By | Thursday June 13, 2013 @ 4:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, A&E has landed Blood, Sweat & Tears, a drama project from feature and TV writer Chad Feehan (Southland, Paranormal Activity 4) and director Joe Carnahan (Narc). The project, from CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman-Beverly Prods., is a serialized drama set in Texas, which centers on the world of amateur bull riding. Feehan is writing the script and serves as co-executive producer. Carnahan is set to direct and will executive produce with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly.

This marks a return to A&E for Carnahan, who is on a hot pilot streak. Both pilots he directed this year, A&E’s Those Who Kill and NBC’s The Blacklist, garnered a lot of buzz and went to series, with Blacklist scoring NBC’s best drama pilot testing results in a decade and landing the post-Voice Monday 10 PM slot on the fall schedule. He is with CAA and Stuart Rosenthal. Feehan, repped by CAA, Management 360, and Michael Schenkman, has a couple of feature projects in the works, including Beyond The Pale, based on his Black List 2011 script, and The Man From Primrose Lane, which has Bradley Cooper attached. CAA-repped Timberman-Beverly has four series on the air, Elementary and Unforgettable on CBS, Masters Of Sex at Showtime and Justified on FX.

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Cannes: Blumhouse To Launch International Sales Arm With ‘Sinister 2′ & ‘Stretch’

By | Wednesday May 8, 2013 @ 11:34am PDT

Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Productions is launching Blumhouse International to handle foreign sales on the company’s films. The new division has a worldwide distribution and servicing deal with IM Global and the two will introduce the new venture to foreign distributors in Cannes. Kicking off the slate are Sinister 2, the sequel to last year’s hit horror pic, and Stretch, a comedy thriller to be directed by Joe Carnahan who also produces with Blum. Tracy Falco is exec producer on the latter project and Leon Corcos is co-producer. Both films start production later this year. The new division will handle sales of films outside Blumhouse’s first-look deal with Universal.

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No ‘Death Wish’ For Joe Carnahan

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 2:44pm PST
Mike Fleming

Joe Carnahan Death WishEXCLUSIVE: Joe Carnahan has abruptly withdrawn from Death Wish, the Paramount-MGM remake of the 1974 film. I’m told this happened over creative differences having to do with casting. Word is they didn’t agree on the guy playing the role Bruce Willis Death Wishoriginated by Charles Bronson. I understand that the studios want Bruce Willis and Carnahan wanted to go another way.

Carnahan, coming off the Liam Neeson starrer The Grey, has other irons in the fire. I’m told one prime candidate is Narco Sub, the thriller written by David Guggenheim that the late Tony Scott planned to direct at Fox.

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Joe Carnahan Tackling ‘Undying Love’ At Warner Bros

By | Tuesday November 27, 2012 @ 5:03pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Joe Carnahan is making a deal at Warner Bros to direct Undying Love, with Carnahan writing the script. It is based on the graphic novel and revolves around an ex-soldier who falls for a vampire, though in order to be with her, he must take on her creator. And that creator happens to be protected by an army of mobsters in the Hong Kong underworld. Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman created the novel and wrote the first script draft, and Michael De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux and Benderspink are producing.

Carnahan, who last helmed The Grey, said he sparked to the concept, even though it was a little outside his usual comfort zone. “I really took to it, and the metric I use is how fast I come up with ideas and an outline, and this brought about a bunch of ideas,” Carnahan said. “It is a little out of my wheelhouse, taking place in China with mysticism and swordplay, but there is a lot of potential here.” Read More »

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Looks Like ‘Daredevil’ Will Go Back To Marvel And Disney

By | Tuesday August 14, 2012 @ 3:27pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Director Joe Carnahan seems to be ready to toss in the towel on the last ditch attempt to reboot the Marvel superhero Daredevil before Fox’s rights to the franchise expire this fall. Carnahan sent out a tweet today saying, “I think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids.”

From what I’m hearing, that means that Fox, which made the original Daredevil movie that starred Ben Affleck, is prepared to see the rights to that character revert back to Marvel Studios, and fall under the Disney umbrella. Marvel essentially said no to an extension and to Fox’s request that it come aboard as cofinancier of the Daredevil film. Deadline revealed back at Comic-Con that Fox had a problem with a ticking rights clock that would expire in October, something that became an issue after David Slade bailed on the project after he committed to direct the Hannibal pilot. Fox wasn’t too upset by all this, because the studio was lukewarm on making the movie.

It is certainly possible that Carnahan, who’s coming off The Grey, will get the chance to make his gritty blind lawyer-turned crime fighter Matt Murdock/Daredevil at Disney. But it will be Kevin Feige’s decision. As for Fox, the studio will focus on the forward moving Marvel projects Fantastic Four, which is being rebooted, and X-Men: First Class and Read More »

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Joe Carnahan To Direct A&E Pilot ‘Those Who Kill’

By | Friday July 27, 2012 @ 1:04pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Feature writer-director Joe Carnahan (The Grey, The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces) has signed on to direct the pilot for A&E’s drama pilot Those Who Kill. Carnahan also will executive produce the pilot, an adaptation of a Danish crime series based on the books by Elsebeth Egholm. The project, from Imagine Television and Fox 21, revolves around a police detective and a forensic profiler who possess a deep understanding of the serial killers they hunt. Glen Morgan wrote the script and executive produces with Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Peter Bose and Jonas Allen. This marks a rare venturing into television for Carnahan whose only previous TV gig was directing a pilot for Fox in 2006.

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Martin Campbell And Paul Haggis Take On ‘Umbra’ Following Joe Carnahan Exit

By | Friday January 6, 2012 @ 11:27am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Martin Campbell has been set to direct Umbra, the Endgame Entertainment-funded drama that Joe Carnahan has dropped out of. Paul Haggis, who came on to do rewrite work on the Campbell-directed Casino Royale, has also been brought on to do a rewrite on the drama about a business man who gets a mysterious package in the mail and gets caught up in a government conspiracy. Shooting will begin in the spring.

Endgame’s James Stern is producing with Hal Lieberman and Campbell’s production partner Lucienne Papon has also joined as producer. Carnahan dropped out of the film, in what I’m told was an amicable parting for personal reasons for Carnahan, who directed the upcoming Liam Neeson-starrer The Grey, which Open Road releases January 27. The script was written by Steven Karczynski and Carnahan had done re-write work on the most recent draft. Campbell’s repped by CAA. Campbell and Haggis are repped by CAA and Haggis is managed by IPG. Campbell last directed Green Lantern.

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Hot Trailer: Liam Neeson In ‘The Grey’

By | Thursday December 22, 2011 @ 4:13pm PST

Open Road Films released a new 90-second spot for Joe Carnahan’s chilly thriller The Grey starring Liam Neeson. It opens January 27. The trailer first was cut for Harry Knowles’s Aint It Cool News website after the film killed at Harry’s Butt-Numb-A-Thon, the 24-hour movie fest that has become a launching pad for films that appeal to the geek set.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Grey’

By | Friday December 2, 2011 @ 2:07pm PST

The Liam Neeson-starring thriller The Grey is due out January 27 from Open Road Films and centers on an expert in survival skills whose plane crashes in the arctic wild. He must lead a group of survivors to safety while fighting off some bad doggies. So is it the winter weather that’s finally upon us or director Joe Carnahan’s action scenes that are responsible for the shivers we get when watching this?

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Trailer: Joe Carnahan’s ‘The Grey’

By | Wednesday September 21, 2011 @ 6:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Open Road has released a teaser trailer for The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama in which Liam Neeson leads a team of oil drillers whose plane crashes in the Alaskan wilds — right in the middle of a territorial pack of rogue wolves. Open Road acquired the film last month for around $8 million and a $25 million P&A commitment to launch early next year, with a possible platform release to put Neeson in the Oscar race. Here is the teaser:

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Open Road Stakes January 27 For ‘The Grey’; Might Oscar Platform For Liam Neeson Perf

By | Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 12:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

In a surprise development, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road has set the Joe Carnahan-directed killer wolf pack thriller The Grey to open wide on Jan. 27. Now, that puts the movie beyond the Oscars. But I’m told that Open Road has left open the possibility that the film could get a qualifying run in two theaters before year’s end so that Liam Neeson would qualify for the Best Actor category. I must say I am a bit surprised that the qualifying run isn’t an automatic. Buyers who watched the movie and bid on it in July before Open Road won it — paying near $8 million and a $25 million P&A commitment for U.S. rights — all hailed Neeson’s performance as Oscar bait. The deal was based on watching 30 minutes of scenes, but word was that opening this year, even just to qualify, was a priority for the sellers and a reason some distributors with full Oscar-season skeds shied away. Neeson plays the leader of a group of oil drillers who struggle to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Carnahan won’t finish the film in time to show it at Telluride, Toronto or the New York Film Festival, but they will get enough feedback from advance screenings to make a decision about whether it’s ready to wage an Oscar campaign for Neeson, who was nominated once in his career for Schindler’s List and has enjoyed a leading man resurgence thanks to Taken. Here is Open Road’s official announcement about the date: Read More »

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TOLDJA! Open Road Acquires U.S. Rights To Joe Carnahan’s Wolf Tale ‘The Grey’

By | Tuesday July 19, 2011 @ 1:17pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Deadline told you last Friday that upstart distributor Open Road would close a big deal for U.S. distribution rights to The Grey, Joe Carnahan’s thriller about a group of oil drillers whose plane crashes in Alaska, smack in the middle of the hunting grounds of a territorial rogue wolf pack. This happened after a 30-minute compilation of scenes was shown last week to distributors. Open Road, which Tom Ortenberg started early this year with backing from AMC and Regal, just confirmed the deal. I’d heard the distributor paid near the $8 million minimum guarantee asked by the sellers, with a $25 million P&A commitment and a gross corridor built into one of the pricier recent deals for a finished film. None of that’s in the release, nor is the release date. Open Road launches its first film, the Jason Statham-starrer The Killer Elite, on September 23, and I’ve heard The Grey will be released in time for Oscar season (Liam Neeson turns in a strong performance), which was part of the ask by the sellers. Here’s the official announcement:

LOS ANGELES, CA, July 19, 2011 – Open Road Films has acquired the U.S. rights to the highly anticipated, action-packed survival thriller, THE GREY, directed by Joe Carnahan (A-Team, Smokin’ Aces, Narc) and starring Liam Neeson, from Liddell Entertainment. The announcement was made today by Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films and Mickey Liddell, CEO of Liddell Entertainment.


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Open Road Acquiring U.S. Rights To Joe Carnahan’s ‘The Grey’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Open Road is in the final stages of acquiring U.S. rights to Joe Carnahan’s The Grey, and it’s shaping up to be a whopper of a deal. The numbers I’m hearing are in the $8 million minimum guarantee range, with a $25 million P&A commitment and a gross corridor built in. Deadline told you Wednesday there was heat on the finished film as CAA was showing a 30-minute reel to buyers all week. The film is about an oil-drilling team struggling to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack, with Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson starring. Scott Free’s Jules Daly produced the film with Mickey Liddell. I’d heard that Warner Bros, Open Road, Summit, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict were all in the mix.

Nobody was confirming, and Open Road chief Tom Ortenberg didn’t return a text and a call, but the deal could be sealed by this evening. It gives Open Road a major film for its inaugural slate after being launched earlier this year by theater chains AMC and Regal. Ortenberg has been in the mix on numerous high-profile films shopped for acquisition, and Open Road also acquired The Host, the Andrew Niccol-directed adaptation of the novel by Twilight Saga’s Stephenie Meyer that will star Saoirse Ronan. The film … Read More »

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Joe Carnahan’s Wolf Pic ‘The Grey’ Has Bidders Hungry After 30-Minute Reel

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Based on a 30-minute reel being shown to distributors as we speak, bidding is getting hot and heavy on The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama about an oil-drilling team struggling to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson star in the film. CAA is shopping the Scott Free-produced pic, and I’ve heard that Warner Bros, Open Road, Summit, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict are all in the mix.

The movie’s had heat on it since CAA showed a three-minute reel right after the Cannes Film Festival. The ask is in the $8 million range minimum guarantee and a release upwards of 3000 screens and the deal will certainly be in the seven-figures based on what I’ve heard about the footage. But the bidding is complicated by one thing: the filmmakers are insisting that The Grey be released later this year. It makes sense for a cold-weather film that has a Neeson performance that could be in the Oscar mix. And the film is ready to build buzz that starts with festivals like Toronto. The complication is, several of the distributors have crowded late-year release schedules. This could give an edge to a distributor like Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road, which is looking for exactly this kind of wide-release film. Read More »

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CANNES: Weinstein Company Near Deal For ‘Wettest County’ While Distribs Fret Over Buying Pics Sight-Unseen

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company, already on a Cannes acquisition spree, has emerged as the clear frontrunner for  domestic distribution rights on The Wettest County in the World, after another all-night bargaining session between Harvey Weinstein’s acquisition team and CAA. I’m told a deal is very close. Considering how many distributors showed interest going into the weekend, it might  seem surprising that the Wettest County in the World has taken this long. Relativity Media had been the favorite all weekend since posting the highest bid, north of $5 million. I heard they got word from the producers last night that it wasn’t going to happen with them. I suspect what gave TWC the edge is its awards season experience, and a relationship that is growing between Harvey Weinstein and Megan Ellison, who financed the picture with Michael Benaroya. Ellison just sold to Weinstein world rights to the untitled Paul Thomas Anderson-directed film, which starts production next month with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix starring. I believe that The Wettest County in the World will get a platform release at year end, and open wide in early 2012.

The behind the scenes drama that has been going on all weekend illustrates the predicament for distributors on the Croisette who are trying to maintain some discipline in the closest thing to a sellers market that Cannes has seen in years. Buyers in this case wanted some control over a film that is done … Read More »

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