EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, the emerging writer-director-producer team that just wrapped the Will Smith-Margot Robbie grifter tale Focus for Warner Bros. Requa & Ficarra produced that film through their Zaftig Films banner alongside Denise DiNovi.
Requa and Ficarra, who were repped by WME, made their directing debut on the Jim Carrey-starrer I Love You Phillip Morris. They followed by helming Crazy, Stupid, Love, the comedy that starred Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, which grossed $142 million worldwide. They got on the map writing the hit black comedy Bad Santa, which starred Billy Bob Thornton and John Ritter. They have several projects percolating, including a film based on the rise and fall of eccentric software wiz John McAfee, who adopted an extreme lifestyle and set up a compound in Belize. After being implicated in the death of a neighbor, McAfee fled the scene. Requa and Ficarra continue to be lawyered by Jeff Frankel of McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead.
EXCLUSIVE: In their pilot directing debut, feature directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are set to helm and executive produce ABC’s Cullen brothers single-camera comedy pilot. Additionally, joining the cast of the multi-generational family comedy, which locked in James Caan earlier today, is Ben Koldyke (How I Met Your Mother, Big Love). Requa and Ficarra, who wrote and directed I Love You Phillip Morris, wrote Bad Santa and directed Crazy, Stupid, Love, were hotly pursued for pilots this season.
The Cullen brothers project, from 20th TV, centers on Terry Gannon, a recently divorced single mother who temporarily moves in with her estranged father (Caan), a beer-swilling former baseball player. She reluctantly starts coaching her son Tommy’s (Griffin Gluck) underdog Little League team and is drawn back into the world of sports she vowed to leave behind. Koldyke will play Dick Slingbaugh, the macho, handsome Little League coach who’s more than a little full of himself. This marks Koldyke’s return to ABC where he starred in the ill-fated comedy Work It last season. He is with Gersh and Brian Medavoy. The Cullen brothers are executive producing the pilot with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Requa and Ficarra. Charlie Gogolak, Requa and Ficarra’s producing partner at Zaftig Films, serves as producer. WME-repped Requa and Ficarra have been prepping con-artist feature comedy Focus starring Kristen Stewart.
In an effort to catch up with the animated films being generated at other studios, Warner Bros has formed what it calls a feature animation creative consortium. They’ve identified a core group of filmmakers to form a Justice League for the production of cartoons. The team’s goal will be to generate one animated film per year. John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Nicholas Stoller, Phil Lord and Chris Miller and Jared Stern are the first directors in the program. They aren’t exclusive to the studio, and will develop animated projects along with the live action films they direct. Stoller has written Storks, which will be directed by Doug Sweetland for 2015 release; Requa and Ficarra will spearhead Smallfoot, from an original idea by Despicable Me‘s Sergio Pablos, who’ll direct for 2016 release. First out of the gate will be the 3D The LEGO Movie, which will be released by Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Films by February 7, 2014. Warner Bros execs Jeff Robinov, Greg Silverman, Courtenay Valenti and Chris deFaria will oversee the effort.
EXCLUSIVE: As Warner Bros prepares to open Ben Affleck’s Oscar-season entry Argo, the studio is in early talks with Affleck to star in Focus.Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wrote the script and will direct. Denise DiNovi is producing. All of this is subject to finding the right female lead, but it all sounds promising and Warner Bros is eager to move quickly and get this into production. Focus tells the story of a veteran con man who gets involved with a newcomer to the grifter business. They become involved romantically but that becomes perilous in a business where they lie and cheat for a living. The complications of the encounter haunt them when they meet up again in the future. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have made a Warner Bros deal to direct their script Focus, which will be produced by Denise DiNovi. She was a producer on the last comedy they made for the studio, Crazy, Stupid, Love. I’m told they hope to draft that comedy’s leads, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, to play the lead roles, though studio insiders said it hasn’t gotten that far yet. Focus tells the story of a veteran con man who gets involved with a newcomer to the grifter business. They get involved romantically but that becomes perilous in a business where they lie and cheat for a living. The complications of the encounter haunt them when they meet up again in the future. Ficarra and Requa, who are repped by WME, wrote Bad Santa and wrote and directed I Love You, Phillip Morris.
Here is a new redband trailer for I Love You Phillip Morris, the film that will be released December 3 by Roadside Attractions. The subversive comedy evident in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s comedy script Bad Santa were missing from earlier promotional materials on the film. They are evident in this trailer, which will at least take pressure off Universal’s The Dilemma.
EXCLUSIVE: Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to I Love You Phillip Morris. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the fact based film stars Jim Carrey as a married conman who falls in love with his cellmate—Ewan McGregor—and commits all kinds of crazy misdeeds like breaking out of Texas prisons four times, to be with his lover. Roadside Attractions has set a December 3 release date.
The deal closely follows an announcement by Roadside Attractions and Liddell that they completed an acquisition of the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, which confirmed a story Deadline broke on August 10. Biutiful will also be released in December.
The deal ends a prolonged odyssey for I Love You Phillip Morris to find its way to movie screens here. Financed by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, the film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and opened on schedule internationally, grossing around $17 million. Besson’s hopes to see the film get a simultaneous domestic release turned into a nightmare. The film’s original distributor, Consolidated Pictures Group, missed the original February 12 release date, and two other slots–March 26 and April 30–were also scratched.
While the upstart company made a Canadian distribution deal with Alliance and floated in the press a plan to platform the film July 30 and release it wide on August 6, Besson and producers Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat … Read More »