Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo have found a new home for their graphic novel movie adaptation Ciudad, an upcoming Oni Press title about a weary mercenary hired by a Brazilian drug lord to extract his daughter from Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, one of the world’s most dangerous and corrupt cities. Sierra Pictures has come aboard to finance and produce the adaptation, which is now scheduled to begin production in spring 2014 in Colombia. John Pogue (The Quiet Ones) is aboard to direct Joe Russo’s script, and Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales. The Russos, Ande Parks, and Fernando Leon created the graphic novel. This is mostly the same producer group that had this project set up with financier Emmett/Furla Films last year with Dwayne Johnson attached — neither Emmett/Furla nor Johnson are involved in this incarnation. Eric Gitter and Peter Schwerin are producing via their Closed on Mondays Entertainment, with the Russos and Closed on Mondays’ Joe Nozemack executive producing with David Guillod of Intellectual Property Group. Sierra’s Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg will also executive produce. Closed on Mondays’ James Lucas Jones and Steven V. Scavelli will co-produce, and Sierra/Affinity’s SVP Production and Acquisitions Kelly McCormick will oversee.
Sierra Pictures To Finance And Produce John Pogue-Directed ‘Ciudad’ Based On Russo Bros Graphic Novel
EXCLUSIVE: Dwayne Johnson has signed on to star in Ciudad, an intense action thriller to be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. The pic is being produced by Eric Gitter and Peter Schwerin of Closed on Mondays Entertainment (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), as well as Emmett/Furla Films partners Randall Emmett & George Furla. Emmett/Furla Films will finance the movie. Envision Entertainment’s Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase, who have a film fund with Emmett/Furla Films, will executive produce. The Russo Brothers will direct from a script written by Joe Russo.
Ciudad is based on the upcoming Oni Press graphic novel that the Russo Brothers co-wrote with Ande Parks. Set in one of the most dangerous and corrupt cities in the world, the thriller will star Johnson as a black market mercenary hired by a Brazilian drug lord to rescue his kidnapped daughter.
EXCLUSIVE: Phillip Noyce, who helmed the pilot for ABC’s hot freshman series Revenge, is back on pilot directing duty at the network with another primetime soap. Noyce is set to direct and executive produce the Michael Seitzman-written Americana. The gig falls under Noyce’s first-look deal with ABC and ABC Studios inked last summer. Americana, from ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co., is a soap set around a legendary fashion designer and his family and business. Noyce, repped by UTA and manager Ross Fineman, will executive produce with Seitzman, Mark Gordon and Nicholas Pepper.
Anthony and Joe Russo will direct and executive produce the NBC single-camera comedy pilot Animal Kingdom. The office comedy centers on a House-like veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners. Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka wrote the script and are executive producing with the Russos, Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan for Universal TV and American Work. The Russo brothers will direct the pilot as part of the two-year exclusive development deal they signed with Universal TV last summer. Anthony and Joe Russo, repped by WME and 3 Arts, won an Emmy for directing the pilot for Fox’s Arrested Development. The two went on to direct the pilots and executive produce NBC’s Community and ABC’s Happy Endings.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have signed a two-year exclusive development deal with Universal Media Studios. The two will relocate to UMS from Sony Pictures TV, where they were under overall deals for the past four years. It will be a pretty seamless transition as the Sony TV-produced comedy Community, on which the Russo brothers directed the pilot and serve as directors/executive producers, airs on NBC. Under their pact with UMS, the two will remain executive producers on the underrated single-camera comedy, which is starting to get recognition, recently landing best comedy series nominations from the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. “Our new deal with the Russo brothers shows that NBC is looking for creative producers who are both successful and not afraid to take chances,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “Their unique vision and ingenuity should result in some very edgy content that will capture everyone’s attention.”
EXCLUSIVE: Fox is eyeing a new light legal drama franchise with Lawyers For Less. The network is developing the project, created by and to star Danny Comden and produced by Sony TV and studio-based Happy Madison. Sony-based Anthony and Joe Russo are on board to direct and produce. The Russos, Emmy winners for directing the Arrested Development pilot, are hot coming off the last development season when both of their pilots, Happy Endings and Running Wilde, got picked up to series. They executive produce 3 series this season, Happy Ending, Running Wilde and Community, whose pilot they also directed.
Lawyers For Less, which Comden will write and executive produce with Josh Pate, is a workplace comedic drama about two best friends – a white-shoe lawyer (Comden) coming back from disbarment for mixing business and pleasure and an enterprising black lawyer who takes him in as partner – who run a small storefront law firm specializing in ambulance chasing and defending the defenseless. ”Their goal is to bring reasonable doubt at a reasonable price while making as much filthy lucre as humanly possible,” Comden said. The project extends Comden’s relationship with Fox. Last year, he landed a script commitment with penalty from the network for single-camera comedy The Intruders, which didn’t go to pilot.