San Diego is about to get a Gothic horror visit from Victorian England today and John Logan is about to let Penny Dreadful get truly uninhibited. “A lot of Season 1, for me, was actually putting the playing pieces on the board,” says the Oscar nominated scribe of the Showtime series of 19th century iconic supernatural misfits he created. “Now I feel we’ve had 8 hours to do that, to establish the landscape and so now I really get to play,” the first time showrunner adds with a laugh. “I can create more and more complex patterns of the relationships of the characters and of the supernatural element as well,” the Gladiator and Skyfall writer says. “In terms of the second season, I’ve written all but two of the episodes. So, the last two are yet to be written. So I’m well ahead of the game there, and the actors will all be getting it the end of this month.
In just over a month since Dreadful’s rather spectacularly blood soaked Season 1 finale, Logan will be taking the stage in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center this evening with cast members Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Josh Hartnett. If he returns next year, he may be bringing a few more people with him and not just absent leads Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. “I’m teasing out from the characters I really love … Read More »
“I’m a total monster geek,” award-winning playwright turned go-to James Bond scriptwriter John Logan said when asked how he wound up writing and exec producing Showtime’s psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful. The pay cable network has ordered eight episodes of the series that features some of literature’s most iconic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star.
Reading a lot of Wordsworth led him to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he explained, adding, “I started thinking about why, almost 200 years later, we’re still reading ‘Frankenstein‘ and I think it’s because the monster breaks my heart. Growing up as a gay man before that was as socially acceptable as it is now, I knew what it was like not to feel socially acceptable, but the same thing that made me monstrous to some people made me who I was.” Re-visting Frankenstein, he said, “I wept reading about the pathos and suffering of the poor, vengeful, monstrous creature.“ Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of their movie Skyfall smashing worldwide box office records as the highest-grossing James Bond pic of all time and landing the franchise’s first Oscar nominations in 30 years, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are headed to Showtime. I’ve learned that the pay cable network, flying high on the critical success of original drama Homeland, has landed the duo’s high-concept drama project, which Logan and Mendes took out to premium cable networks in November as a spec written by Logan. Deals are still being finalized but I hear that the project is eyeing a straight-to-series order at Showtime, with Logan and Mendes executive producing with an eye for Mendes to direct. The untitled drama, which has undergone some tweaking from the original spec to tailor it to the Showtime audiences, is described as a psychological horror drama series with literary underpinnings, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, set in the 1800s. This would mark both Logan and Mendes’ series debut. They are executive producing the show with Pippa Harris, Mendes’ partner at Neal Street Prods. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With the latest James Bond movie Skyfall already smashing box office records, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are re-teaming on the TV side. In what would be both Logan and Mendes’ series debut, the two have partnered for a drama project. We’ve learned that the script, written by Logan with Mendes attached to produce and possibly direct, has been sent to premium cable networks.
It is described as an origin story set in the 1800s London in the vein of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which also was set in 19th century Europe, including London, and featured an assortment of fictional literary characters. The Logan/Mendes project features such characters as Van Helsing and Doctor Frankenstein as they hunt for vampires. The drama is unlikely to have spy elements as Eon Prods., which produces the Bond films, has a long history of preventing its writers and directors from working on other ‘spy’ material, even when they’re done with a 007 movie and have moved on. In the case of Logan, he is far from done with Bond – he already has been tapped to write the next two installments, Bond 24 and 25. Meanwhile, Mendes was the first Oscar winner to direct a Bond pic with Skyfall. He is producing the TV project through his Neal Street Prods. Read More »
Oscar winner Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender are set to star in Genius. Based on the relationship between author Thomas Wolfe and renowned editor Max Perkins, the film will be directed by Michael Grandage. Gladiator and Skyfall scribe John Logan will adapt the script from A. Scott Berg’s award-winning biography Max Perkins: Editor Of Genius. James Bierman for the Michael Grandage Company will produce Genius. CAA will arrange the financing and represent the film’s North American distribution rights. FilmNation start international sales on Genius at AFM this week.
EXCLUSIVE: As buzz builds for the 23rd James Bond film Skyfall, the franchise’s producers have quietly made a deal with John Logan to write not one but two 007 films. I’m told that Logan pitched an original two-movie arc to Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson while they were shooting Skyfall, and that he has already begun writing the scripts. If plans work out, this would be the first Bond film with a storyline to be played out over multiple films, and it certainly makes it feasible that the pictures could be shot back-to-back. (I might be getting ahead of myself here, but anyone named Fleming has to be permitted to froth over James Bond films.) Skyfall opens here November 9, but it is beginning its international rollout this weekend and it is shaping up to be possibly the biggest opening of any film ever in the UK. Read More »
Veteran theater director Michael Grandage announced a star-studded line-up to launch his new company in London’s West End. Daniel Radcliffe, Judi Dench, Jude Law and Ben Whishaw are among the actors who will tread the boards in a series of five plays to run from December 2012 to February 2014, with New York transfers possible. Screenwriter/playwright John Logan (Skyfall, Rango, Hugo) will also debut his first play since Red which in 2010 won six Tonys after it moved from London to Broadway.
The season will kick off with Peter Nichols’ Privates On Parade starring My Week With Marilyn’s Simon Russell Beale followed by Dench and Whishaw in Logan’s Peter And Alice. In the story, Dench plays Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the original inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, who in 1932 comes face to face with Peter Llewelyn Davies, the original inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. Radcliffe will star in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishman starting September 7, 2013. He’ll play the title role in the dark comedy’s first major London revival since 1996. Re-teaming with Grandage after 2009′s Hamlet, Jude Law will star as Henry V to close out the series’ run starting November 2013. Another Shakespeare adaptation, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will star Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams.
In a move to bring in wide audiences, each of the plays will have at least 200 seats priced … Read More »
Shooting on the latest James Bond movie starts Monday, Daniel Craig revealed at this morning’s press conference for Skyfall, the 23rd 007 movie. Producer Michael G Wilson scotched UK tabloid rumors that the budget for the latest Bond film has been slashed by $100 million. “We’re in the same budget range as the last film. We haven’t had to change anything in the script. In fact, we keep adding things — everything is going to be just as it was,” he said. Director Sam Mendes also denied he was making a downbeat Bond with fewer action sequences. He would be directing action sequences himself. “There will be plenty of surprises,” Mendes promised. “The action needs to be balanced with the drama.” Mendes said he was open to directing another Bond installment, “if I still feel that it’s as much fun in six months’ time, then the answer is yes.” Read More »
BREAKING: Paramount and New Regency have formalized a deal to partner on Noah, the biblical epic that Darren Aronofsky will direct as his follow-up to the Oscar-nominated smash Black Swan. Deadline told you in late June that Paramount was going to win a project after a bidding battle with 20th Century Fox to partner with New Regency. Apparently it takes less time to build an ark and survive a biblical flood than it does to close a deal like this, but the partners have also locked in Gladiator scribe John Logan to rewrite the script by Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Aronofsky and Scott Franklin will produce it.
The film is being fast tracked in hopes of getting it into production by next spring. It fits in to Paramount’s mandate to make films with global appeal. ”Since I was a kid, I have been moved and inspired by the story of Noah and his family’s journey,” Aronofsky said. “The imaginations of countless generations have sparked to this epic story of faith. It’s my hope that I can present a window into Noah’s passion and perseverance for the silver screen.” Aronofsky and Logan were repped by CAA.
Seminal punk rock singer Patti Smith will collaborate with Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan to adapt Just Kids, the bestselling memoir Smith wrote about her close relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as both came of age in their respective art forms in New York City during the ’60s and ’70s. They’ve decided to write the screenplay on spec rather than set it up with a distribution, which they certainly could have done after Just Kids won the 2010 National Book Award for Non-fiction. In fact, a lot of prestige producers wanted it. Logan most recently won a Tony Award for his play Red, about painter Mark Rothko, and he has the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus and Martin Scorsese-directed Hugo coming this fall. The book was repped by DCL Agency and Logan’s repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount is moving closer to signing on for Noah, the big-ticket re-telling of the Noah’s Ark story that will be the next film from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. Deadline told you early this month that CAA was shopping the picture. Bidding came down to 20th Century Fox and Paramount, both of which were vying to partner with New Regency, which has been involved all the way through the process. Aronofsky wrote a script that is being rewritten by Gladiator scribe John Logan. Noah might only have gotten got a few pages in the Bible, but Aronofsky has turned it into a sprawling fantasy epic that will cost north of $100 million. Aronofsky dropped out of The Wolverine after his long-gestating Black Swan finally came together and grossed $315 million worldwide on a $12 million budget. What a time to mount a dream project, when you’ve just generated one of the most profitable movies in recent memory. This will take a few days to crystallize, but I’m convinced that Paramount will emerge as the partner on the picture. New Regency is closely aligned with Fox, but I believe the company will still play a role in the funding of the picture. More to come on this one.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that town is tantalized by a package circulating with Darren Aronofsky directing Noah, an edgy re-telling of the Noah’s Ark story. Aronofsky wrote a script that is getting a rewrite by John Logan. I’ve heard he wants $130 million to make it and that New Regency is eyeing a co-financing role. Suitors considering stepping up for the other half include Paramount and Fox, as well as Summit, I’ve heard. It was described to me as a big fantasy epic, and an opportunity for Aronofsky to create a world. He’s very passionate about it and wants to make it next film, after dropping out of The Wolverine. Aronofsky’s got more heat on him than ever after directing the spectacularly profitable Black Swan, which grossed $315 million worldwide on a $12 million budget. His move toward Noah comes after Aronofsky recently flirted with Exodus, the 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment-produced telling of the story of Moses, his defiance of the Pharoah and delivery of the Hebrews from enslavement. That script was written by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Beyond an ill-advised morphing of the Noah’s Ark story into the Universal spinoff comedy Evan Almighty, nobody has tried to tell the Noah’s Ark story in as ambitious a manner as Aronofsky intends. Will a studio step up to help Aronofsky build this boat on as grand a scale as he desires? Stayed tuned. Aronofsky and Logan are repped by … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company is negotiating with Icon to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Coriolanus, the Ralph Fiennes-directed John Logan-scripted contemporized adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Gerard Butler, Fiennes, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain lead the cast. The film will be part of the competition at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. It puts Harvey Weinstein back in business with Fiennes, who starred in the 1996 Best Picture winner The English Patient and most recently in The Reader. The plan being discussed involves platforming the picture later this year, in time for awards season. Fiennes plays the title character, a hero who is banished and plots his revenge by aligning with his sworn enemy, Tulles Aufidius (Butler) to return and sack his homeland. Political machinations and misgivings get in the way and place Coiolanus in grave danger. Gabrielle Tana of Magnolia Mae Films, Julia Taylor-Stanley of Artemis Films, and Colin Vaines produced it. Weinstein viewed the film a month ago in London. The pending deal follows an aggressive Sundance for Weinstein, who acquired the fest’s two highest priced films in the Paul Rudd-starrer My Idiot Brother and the Tobey Maguire-starrer The Details.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has opted not to proceed with John Logan’s hourlong pilot The Miraculous Year, which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. I hear that the appeal of the project – an exploration into a high-powered New York family: a self-destructive Broadway composer (Norbert Leo Butz), his powerful painter father Alex (Frank Langella) and his attorney sister Mandy Vance (Hope Davis) – was probably too narrow. The cast of the pilot also included Eddie Redmayne, Linus Roache and Patti LuPone as well as guest stars Susan Sarandon and Lee Pace. HBO has had a busy pilot pickup year starting with the Michael Mann/David Milch collaboration Luck, which has already been ordered to series. The Diane Keaton starrer Tilda is still awaiting word while backup scripts are being written and reshoots on the pilot are being done. HBO’s recent pilot orders include the Justin Theroux/Steve Coogan comedy Documental, Armando Iannucci’s comedy Veep, Alan Ball’s drama All Signs of Death and the untitled Lena Dunham/Judd Apatow comedy.
Susan Sarandon is the latest addition to the pilot from writer John Logan and director Kathryn Bigelow. She is among several actors tapped for guest-staring/potential recurring roles on the pilot starring Norbert Leo Butz, Frank Langella and Hope Davis, which started filming today in New York. The Miraculous Year is described as an exploration into a high-powered New York family: Terry Segal (Butz), A wildly self-destructive and manipulative Read More »
Mortimer, who appeared in Shutter Island, and Stuhlbarg, who co-stars in Boardwalk Empire, have become the latest cast additions to Scorsese’s 3D children’s movie. Hugo Cabret began shooting in London last month. Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) star. Rounding out the cast are Jude law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths (The History Boys) and Frances de la Tour (Alice in Wonderland). Hugo Cabret, the story of an orphan who solves the mystery of a broken robot, is something of a family reunion for Scorsese. John Logan, who wrote The Aviator, has written the script. And Graham King of GK Films is producing alongside Scorsese, Tim Headington and Johnny Depp. DP Robert Richardson, production designer Dante Ferretti, costume designer Sandy Powell and editor Thelma Schoonmaker all worked on Shutter Island. Cabret represents Scorsese’s first foray into 3D.