EXCLUSIVE: Appropriate considering today is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the It’s A Small World attraction that has been such a staple of the Disney theme parks, the movie studio has hired Jon Turteltaub to direct a feature based on the venerable family film ride with the catchy tune. Jared Stern pitched Small World and will write the script. He, Turteltaub and The Lego Movie‘s Dan Lin will be the producers. This one will take awhile to come together but it is envisioned as a potential franchise for the studio. Turteltaub is coming off the CBS Films hit comedy Last Vegas, a movie that has grossed $134 million worldwide. For Disney, Turteltaub directed the first two installments of National Treasure and is working on a third with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Stern is repped by WME, managers Marc Provissiero and Helena Heyman and attorney Karl Austen, while Turteltaub is repped by WME, managed by David Lonner at Oasis and lawyered by Steve Warren.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has put in development Alleged, a drama from CBS TV Studios and Jon Turteltaub‘s studio-based Junction Entertainment. Written by playwright/TV writer David Rambo and Pat Gilfillan, the project centers on a defense attorney who takes on the most important case of his life: defending his own brother, a successful surgeon and father of two who is accused of murdering his wife. The story is informed by high-profile spouse murder cases like those of Drew Peterson and Scott Peterson much like another CBS/CBS TV Studios drama, The Good Wife, was inspired by a string of politicians wives who’d stood by their philandering husbands. This marks the first project under an overall deal WME-repped Junction recently inked with CBS Studios, returning to CBS after a two-year stint at ABC Studios.
EXCLUSIVE: Top literary managers David Lonner and Larry Shuman are in serious talks to merge their companies, Oasis Media Group and The Shuman Co, respectively. In the scenario being discussed, Shuman and Lonner and his Oasis partner John Mass would join forces under the Oasis umbrella, tied to an effort to secure financing to expand the business. If it closes, the merger would bring under the same roof such feature and TV heavyweights as JJ Abrams, Brad Silberling, Jon Turteltaub, Shawn Ryan and David Shore. While 2-year-old Oasis has some TV clients — crossover A-lister Abrams and ER and Detroit 1-8-7 showrunner David Zabel — the company skews heavily towards features with a client list that includes Abrams, Silberling, Turteltaub, Peter Sollett, Michael Tolkin, Audrey Wells and Rob Minkoff. Meanwhile, Shuman, who has run his boutique company for 20 years, has a TV-heavy roster that includes House creator Shore, The Shield creator Ryan, Hunt Baldwin & John Coveny (co-creators of A&E’s upcoming series Longmire) and The Inside and Drive co-creator Tim Minear. Among Shuman’s handful of crossover clients is TV writer Carl Ellsworth, who segued into features with Red Eye and Disturbia. But overall, there is little overlap between Oasis and the Shuman Co’s areas of coverage, making a merger one where the pieces fit and would give the combined company heft in both film and television.
Jon Turteltaub is in negotiations to direct CBS Films and Mandate Pictures’ comedy Last Vegas, which revolves around four best friends in their late 60s who decide to escape retirement and throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who stayed single. Dan Fogelman wrote the script; the project will be produced by Larry Mark and Mandate, with Mandate president Nathan Kahane executive producing. Maria Faillace and Alex Ginno are overseeing for CBS Films, and Nicole Brown is overseeing for Mandate. Turteltaub, repped by WME and Oasis Media Group, directed the National Treasure movies and most recently helmed The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has bought drama pitch Haunted from feature writer Cory Goodman (The Priest), with National Treasure helmer Jon Turteltaub attached to direct. It hails from ABC Studios, Jon Turteltaub’s Junction Entertainment and producer Adam Goldworm (Masters of Horror). Haunted is a supernatural character procedural that follows Jessica Garrity, a paranormal investigator who each week helps the living move on from a spirit that can’t let go. It marks Goodman’s TV debut, the first project under Junction’s overall deal with ABC Studios and Goldworm’s first TV project through his new company Aperture Entertainment, which manages Goodman. Goodman, who has The Last Witch Hunter set up at Summit and The Brood at MGM, is repped by WME, which also reps Turteltaub.
From the 1970s, the decade that gave us the Partridge Family and the Osmonds, come The Lockharts. ABC has bought The Lockharts, a musical hour drama from writers Michael Gans & Richard Register (Make It Or Break It), Castle executive producer Laurie Zaks and ABC Studios. Set primarily in the cultural hurricane of the late 1970s, the project centers on the Lockharts, a musically gifted family that lands its own variety show on a national network. They are billed as the perfect All American Family but, like all families, they are far from perfect. The series is framed by a slowly evolving present-day mystery involving …
EXCLUSIVE: Jon Turteltaub has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, Turteltaub will develop and produce series projects through his Junction Entertainment banner, which has been run by Karim Zreik and Dan Shotz for more than a decade now. On the TV side, Turteltaub spent the past 5 years at CBS TV Studios, since he directed/executive produced the pilot for the cult CBS/CBS Studios drama series Jericho, which he also executive produced. For the past 4 years, Turteltaub and Junction Entertainment were under an overall deal at CBS Studios where the company developed and produced such series as the CBS horror drama Haper’s Island and, most recently, the upcoming USA Network show Common Law. On the feature side, National Treasure director Turteltaub, repped by WME and David Lonner, most recently directed The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
UPDATE: Medium executive producer Craig Sweeny has come onboard Common Law as executive producer. He will serve as co-showrunner on the series alongside co-creators/exec producers Cormac & Marianne Wibberley through his overall deal at CBS TV Studios.
EXCLUSIVE 5 PM: I hear USA Network is finalizing a series pickup of comedic buddy cop drama Common Law starring Michael Ealy. The project, from CBS TV Studios and Jon Turteltaub’s Junction Entertainment, centers on polar-opposite LAPD homicide detectives Travis Marks (Ealy) and Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), whose nonstop bickering and acrimony prompts their no-nonsense captain Phil Sutton (Jack McGee) to send them to a couples therapist. The role of the therapist, played in the pilot by Amy Acker, will be recast, along with another, smaller part. There will be some reshoots, and I hear the action quotient on the show will be pumped up. With the series order for Common Law, expected by the end of the week, USA will maintain its perfect pilot-to-series batting average. Common Law was one of three cast-contingent pilots ordered by USA last summer, along with Necessary Roughness and Suits (formerly A Legal Mind). The other two have already been picked up to series.
Michael Ealy has been tapped to star in USA Network’s pilot Common Law, a comedic buddy cop drama from producer Jon Turteltaub. Ealy is the first actor cast in the project, written by Cormac & Marianne Wibberley, which centers on cops Wes Mitchell and Travis Marks (Ealy), partners at LAPD. The problem is Wes, a methodical former lawyer with a passion for cars, gardening and his ex-wife, and Travis, a maverick ladies’ man who served time in juvie, can’t stand each other. To revive their flagging professional relationship, their Captain sends them to couples therapy. CBS TV Studios and Turteltaub’s Junction Entertainment are producing with Cormac & Marianne Wibberley and Turteltaub executive producing. Sleeper Cell alum Ealy, repped by Gersh and manager Darryl Taja, most recently had a role on ABC’s FlashForward and next co-stars in Screen Gems’ Takers. Lifting the Common Law’s cast-contingency hinges on casting both leads.