Benito Martinez & W. Earl Brown To Co-Star In John Ridley’s ABC Pilot ‘American Crime’

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 12:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

earlbrownBenito MartinezThe Shield alum Benito Martinez and Deadwood‘s W. Earl Brown have been cast in American Crime, ABC’s drama pilot written and exec produced by John Ridley, … Read More »

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‘12 Years A Slave’ Writers Win 2014 USC Scripter Award: John Ridley, Solomon Northup

By | Saturday February 8, 2014 @ 10:00pm PST

Christy Grosz is editor of AwardsLine.

ridley1Screenwriter John Ridley and the late Solomon Northup, author of 12 Years A Slave, won the 26th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for best book-to-film adaptation. The winner was announced tonight at a black-tie gala, chaired USCScripterAward__140208174515again by Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren and held at the Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus. Ridley was moved to tears in discussing Northup and his memoir as he accepted the award. “There’s a very special relationship that forms between the writer and the originator,” said Ridley, who was joined by several of Northup’s descendants at the ceremony. Ridley praised the novelist and spoke about how adapting the book has been a new and different experience. “The clarity with which he wrote, the evocative language…” Ridley said. “Until I read Solomon’s memoir, I didn’t know what being a writer was about.” Read More »

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Murder Drama From ‘12 Years A Slave’ Writer John Ridley Gets ABC Pilot Order

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 5:14pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

jridleyABC has given a pilot green light to American Crime, a drama from John Ridley, writer of the slavery feature 12 Years A Slave. The TV project, which also tackles racial issues, is set in California’s Central … Read More »

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ABC To Tackle Race With Murder Drama From ‘12 Years A Slave’ Writer John Ridley

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

John Ridley, writer of the slavery feature 12 Years A Slave, is returning to television with another project that takes on racial issues. ABC has put in development drama American Crime, written/executive produced by … Read More »

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‘12 Years A Slave’ Scribe John Ridley Boards ‘Ben-Hur’ Reboot At MGM

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 9:17am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: MGM has set 12 Years A Slave scribe John Ridley to do a rewrite on Ben-Hur, a new adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which Timur Bekmambetov will direct, based … Read More »

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Appian Way Adds John Ridley As VP Production

By | Wednesday October 31, 2012 @ 2:31pm PDT

Former Warner Bros executive John Ridley has joined Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way as Vice-President of Production. “I’m looking forward to John helping us to connect with the best filmmakers and storytellers in the business,” … Read More »

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HBO Developing Marion Barry Biopic, Eddie Murphy Set To Star, Spike Lee To Direct

By | Friday December 9, 2011 @ 10:16am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In their latest collaboration, director Spike Lee and writer John Ridley have teamed for an HBO biopic of Marion Barry, with Eddie Murphy attached to play the larger-then-life former Washington … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Red Tails’

By | Wednesday November 9, 2011 @ 10:31pm PST

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen, first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squad during WWII, Red Tails is directed by first-timer Anthony Hemingway (with a lot of experience who served as 1st AD several features). It stars Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Michael B. … Read More »

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HBO Boxing Pilot ‘Da Brick’ Casts Lead

By | Wednesday August 31, 2011 @ 5:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After a long search, newcomer John Boyega (Attack the Block) has landed the lead in HBO’s newly picked up drama pilot Da Brick, from Spike Lee, John Ridley, Doug Ellin and Mike Tyson. Boyega will play the … Read More »

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HBO Picks Up Boxing Drama ‘Da Brick’ To Pilot; Doug Ellin, Spike Lee, Mike Tyson And John Ridley Executive Produce

By | Tuesday August 30, 2011 @ 6:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Da Brick is a go at HBO. I hear the pay cable network has handed out a pilot order to the drama project about a young boxer from Entourage creator Doug Ellin, filmmaker Spike Lee, former boxing champion Mike Tyson and writer John Ridley. Ridley wrote the script for the pilot, which will be directed by Lee. Set in current-day Newark, NJ, nicknamed “brick city,” Da Brick is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth. Search is under way for a young black actor to play the lead.

Da Brick stems from Tyson’s 2010 guest appearance on Ellin’s HBO comedy Entourage, a series inspired by executive producer Mark Wahlberg’s early years in Hollywood. “That’s when Mike asked me, why don’t we do with my life what we did with Mark’s life,” Ellin told me back in June, when Da Brick was still in development. “The initial idea was ‘Entourage meets The Wire,’ an edgy story about an up-and-coming boxer and his crew that is much more dramatic than Entourage.” While it was not a series Ellin felt he would write, he and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz decided to develop and produce it through their company. Lefkowitz brought in Ridley who, in turn, brought in Lee, with whom he had been developing a movie about the L.A. riots. Ellin, Lefkowitz, Ridley, Lee and Tyson are executive producing Da Brick, with Tyson’s wife Lakiha Tyson and Azim Spicer, CEO of Las Vegas’ SpiceReel Prods, co-executive producing. Read More »

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Spike Lee, Mike Tyson, Doug Ellin & John Ridley Team For HBO Drama Series Inspired By Tyson’s Youth

By | Tuesday June 21, 2011 @ 8:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

How is this for intriguing mix of creative auspices — filmmaker Spike Lee, former boxing champion Mike Tyson and Entourage creator Doug Ellin have come together to produce a drama series project for HBO, written by John Ridley and to be directed by Lee. The project, titled Da Brick, is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Tyson’s youth. Is its set in current-day Newark, NJ, nicknamed “brick city.” While the project is still in development, HBO has hired a casting director to explore casting choices for the lead, looking for young black actors who are also credible in the boxing ring.

Tyson appeared in a 2010 episode of Ellin’s HBO comedy series Entourage, playing himself. The original germ of an idea for Da Brick came out of a meeting the two had on the set of the veteran comedy, which was inspired by Mark Wahlberg’s early years in Hollywood. “That’s when Mike asked me, why don’t do with my life what we did with Mark’s life,” Ellin said. “The initial idea was ‘Entourage meets The Wire‘, an edgy story about an up-and-coming boxer and his crew that is much more dramatic than Entourage.” Read More »

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