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,” said DiCaprio today. Ridley will work directly with Appian’s President of Production Jennifer Davisson Killoran. “We are so pleased to bring John into the Appian Way family,” said Killoran. Formally joining the Warner Bros-based production company next week, Ridley will work on the Eli Roth-directed and Brian Tucker re-written Harker, starring Russell Crowe. He will also be a part of Appian’s development of Erik Larson’s 2003 Devil In The White City and Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane’s new novel Live By Night. DiCaprio, who is currently filming Appian’s The Wolf of Wall Street with director Martin Scorsese, will star in White City. Ben Affleck is set to write, direct and star in the Live By Night adaptation. Ridley was recently VP of production and development at Hollywood Gang Productions A former assistant to Jeff Robinov, he was a Creative Executive at Warner Bros from 2008 to 2010 when he left to join Hollywood Gang.
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. …
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 …
HBO Picks Up Boxing Drama ‘Da Brick’ To Pilot; Doug Ellin, Spike Lee, Mike Tyson And John Ridley Executive Produce
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.
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.”