EXCLUSIVE: Big shakeup at Silver Pictures, Joel Silver‘s producing label. I’m told that his two top creative executives — president Andrew Rona and EVP Alex Heineman – have just left the company. Both Rona and Heineman came there after Universal sold Rogue Pictures to Relativity and Rona, who ran that label, moved on. He took the Silver Pictures job after longtime head Susan Downey exited to partner in Team Downey with husband Robert Downey Jr. I’m told that Rona and Heineman intend to start their own production shingle. A spokesperson for Silver confirmed the moves, and said Silver wished them well as they set up their new venture.
Silver kept a prolific pace even as the producing great transitioned from a longtime Warner Bros producing deal to being backed by StudioCanal and distributing through Universal Pictures. During Rona and Heineman’s time at Silver, the label produce 12 movies including the upcoming Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop, Project X with Todd Phillips, and numerous others. Rona is producer and Heineman co-producer on the upcoming Pierre Morel-directed Gunman, which stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Read More »
Esquire network has started production on a new series with Joel Silver, “My Friends Call Me Johnny” — an interview show hosted by Jean Pigozzi, Esquire Network president, Adam Stotsky announced this afternoon at Winter TV Press Tour 2014. It’ll be different from all the other interview shows because Pigozzi … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy will star in The Outsider, a Silver Pictures’ film that will mark the English-language debut of Japanese director Takashi Miike, who’s in negotiations to direct the Andrew Baldwin script. The film is based on an original idea by John Linson, who will produce along with Art Linson through their Linson Entertainment banner. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Steve Richards will produce for Silver Pictures. The project, originally set at Warner Bros, will be independently financed to shoot in Japan early next year. It’s an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese yakuza. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Pictures has committed to finance Home Invasion, a thriller developed by Silver Pictures’ low-budget label Zinc Entertainment. The plot is being kept under wraps, but the title offers clues aplenty. I’m told the story involves a family imprisoned in their own home by intruders who play a life-and-death game in which the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds. The script was written by neophyte Joseph Dembner and will be directed by first-timer Sean Carter. After hatching the concept with Silver Pictures’ Alex Heineman, Dembner wrote the screenplay on spec. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Heineman will produce. After the Home Invasion script was turned in, those producers shot a test scene that Carter directed and then shopped it. Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores sparked to it, and they also will be producers. Dembner is co-producer, and Silver’s Steve Richards will be exec producer with Michael Fiore. Read More »
How does a wannabe director get that big break behind the camera? Well, Kirk Sullivan is in Colombia prepping his feature directing debut on the tentatively titled The Dead Men, a thriller about an American traveling in Colombia who becomes involved with a group that lives in an abandoned hospital with a haunted past. Every path to the director’s chair is different, but Sullivan’s came from hustling six years, until he was lucky enough to be Joel Silver‘s assistant and plucky enough to raise money to make a short film, The Come Up, as a calling card (check it out below). After graduating from USC in 2006 (on his third attempt to get into the cinematic arts and production program), he worked as a production assistant, sound guy, camera guy, assistant to Lincoln Lawyer producer Brad Furman, and then assistant to the line producer on Silver’s film The Losers. When Silver needed an assistant, his exec Andrew Rona helped Sullivan get a meeting and he got the job. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver‘s Silver Pictures has joined forces with Studio Canal to build a new franchise with a retelling of Escape From New York. The 1981 John Carpenter original starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, a tough convict dropped into a futuristic New York that has been turned into a post-apocalyptic maximum security prison. He’s charged with rescuing the president (Donald Pleasence), who is held hostage by the prison kingpin (Isaac Hayes) after his plane crashes within the city walls. Snake’s offered a pardon if he’s successful, but fitted with a lethal device that will kill him if he tries to run or misses the deadline.
A remake had been attempted not that long ago at New Line with producer Neil Moritz and The Crazies helmer Breck Eisner, with Gerard Butler, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hardy all mentioned as potentials to play Plissken. That effort ended when New Line let the option lapse almost two years ago. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family has teamed with producer Joel Silver to develop I Hunt Killers, a drama series based on Barry Lyga‘s young-adult novel. The project, from Silver Pictures and Warner Horizon, centers on the teenage daughter of an imprisoned notorious serial killer, a likable girl who becomes a suspect after a string of copy-cat murders. (In the book, the teen is a boy). It will be written by Dexter scribe Arika Mittman, which is appropriate as I Hunt Killers has a similar feel, but with a teenage twist. Silver executive produces, with Mittman serving as co-executive producer and Lyga as consultant. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In his first deal since leaving WB, Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures has set up the supernatural-action script Sanctuary at Paramount Pictures. Scripted by Alan Trezza, Sanctuary focuses on a young woman who is possessed by a … Read More »
Back in June, Joel Silver inked a 12-film distribution deal with Universal Pictures a month after he ended his 25-year relationship at Warner Bros. At the time, we told you the Matrix and Sherlock Holmes producer made a pitch to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The plug was pulled this morning on Motor City, the revenge drama that was scheduled to start production late this month with Albert Hughes directing and Gerard Butler, Mickey Rourke and Adrien Brody starring. The film was in … Read More »
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver Going Indie And Making 12-Film Distribution Deal With Universal For Post-Warner Bros Producing
LOS ANGELES, CA, June 7, 2012—Universal Pictures today announced a five-year domestic distribution deal with Silver Pictures Entertainment, a new division of Silver Pictures. The deal includes 12 motion pictures across multiple genres of which Universal will distribute two to three films per year. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley alongside Joel Silver.
The first project under the new deal will be Non-Stop, from director Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson. The project reunites Collet-Serra, Neeson and Silver who worked together on the worldwide box office hit Unknown. Silver Pictures executives Andrew Rona and Steve Richards will produce along with Silver. Richards and Rona negotiated the deal with Universal on behalf of Silver and Silver Pictures Entertainment.
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EXCLUSIVE: Well, that didn’t take long. Six weeks after I scooped the news that Joel Silver and Warner Bros agreed to sever their 25-year relationship by the end of the year, the producer has plans to set up shop as an indie filmmaker. And just as I toldja, he’s landed at Universal. This is by no means the ful-frills first-look producing deal he’s had. I’m told that Universal was never interested in a first-look production deal with Silver. His close pal and travel buddy Ron Meyer’s daughter is an executive at Silver Pictures and, because of those relationships, Uni President/COO Meyer supposedly took himself out of the decision-making process. Instead, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson with Co-Chairman Donna Langley did the deal. Details are still sketchy, But I hear it calls for five years of domestic distribution of product from a new division of Silver Pictures which is going to be called Silver Pictures Entertainment. The 12-film agreement which will be announced soon calls for Universal to distribute 2 to 3 films annually from Silver Pictures Entertainment across multiple genres. Universal will pay for marketing, with a backstop so that Silver is on the hook if the pics don’t earn out. I understand that Silver will have to find financing though Universal may choose to finance certain films but is under no obligation to do so. The first project under the deal will be action thriller Non-Stop which reteams directed Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson who worked on 2011′s Unknown together for Silver’s Dark Castle where Collet-Serra also helmed Orphan (2009) and House Of Wax (2005). Non-Stop is not yet in production and is slated for a 2013 release.
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver And Warner Bros Pictures Severing 25-Year Relationship
Speaking of Dark Castle, I’ve learned that Universal is interested in distributing that product. But Dark Castle’s slate of movies remain at Warner Bros for distribution through 2013. And after that Silver can take that banner with him for distribution elsewhere or dump it. (Silver is currently embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit with Goldman Sachs over financing for Dark Castle.) Thus comes the quiet finish to one of the most long-term, big-time, noisy, up and down, and ultimately dysfunctional relationships between a film producer and a movie studio. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It’s the end of a modern Hollywood era, the quiet finish to one of the most long-term, big-time, noisy, up and down, and ultimately dysfunctional relationships between a film producer and a movie studio. I have learned that Joel … Read More »
Last March, Deadline refuted a litany of web reports that Barbra Streisand’s dream to play the stage mother in Gypsy had died because Arthur Laurents no longer wanted the movie to get made. Deadline reported that Universal was making the deal and that producer Joel Silver was boarding the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Silver Pictures have set Peter Landesman to adapt The Galton Case, one of the titles in the Ross Macdonald mystery series about private detective Lew Archer. Landesman will look to reinvent the mystery … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell is attached to star in and produce Conviction, a heist film that was bought as a spec script two years ago by Warner Bros and Silver Pictures. The script by Jonathan Herman, which made the Black List, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros acquired rights to the Ross Macdonald mystery series about private detective Lew Archer. The studio will launch a franchise, starting with the 1959 novel The Galton Case, which was the eighth book in the series. Paul Newman … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has optioned Michael Gross’ upcoming non-fiction book Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles for a TV series. The Matrix producer Joel Silver, who found the book and brought it to HBO, is in negotiations to executive produce the series project, which is looking for a writer. In Unreal Estate, Gross explores the history of 16 estates in Los Angeles’ most exclusive enclaves — Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, and Beverly Park — as well as juicy details from the lives of their famous owners. The cast of characters features a slew of Hollywood stars who have passed through the houses over the years, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Marilyn Monroe, George Hamilton, Harold Lloyd, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Curtis, Sonny and Cher, as well as decadent Spanish land-grant families, desperado oilmen and railroad titans, corporate moguls, con men, porn magnates and tabloid fixtures. The potential series is envisioned as a drama with soapy and comedic elements. Read More »