EXCLUSIVE: GrandElectric Entertainment, a new shingle formed by ex-Strike Entertainment partner Eric Newman, has teamed with director Jose Padilha‘s Cold Mountain to preemptively purchase Nekome, a period action pitch by John Hlavin. Studiocanal will finance development and production of the film.
The title is the Yiddish word for revenge and the film is set in the days following the end of World War II. Two young Holocaust survivors are sent by the Jewish underground to Brazil to hunt down and kill the escaped Nazis who ran their concentration camp. The film will shoot in Brazil. Studiocanal is committed to finance the film, but Newman and Padilha retained distribution rights in Brazil, where Padilha is a movie god after his Elite Squad films. Read More »
UPDATE, 6:34 AM: Chris Brancato, who worked with Gaumont and NBC on Hannibal, has been set to run Narcos, and a broader description of the series’ ambition is below.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, March 31, 5:40 PT: Gaumont International Television and Netflix have found an intriguing actor to play Pablo Escobar, the villain in their new series Narcos. In what amounts to an Elite Squad re-team, director Jose Padilha has set Wagner Moura to play the Medellin Cartel leader. Moura played the police captain who battled corruption in his effort to take down drug dealers in the two Padilha-directed films that were huge hits in Brazil. Now, he’s playing the biggest drug trafficker of his era. As Netflix pushes beyond the U.S. and into Latin America, landing one of Brazil’s biggest stars is a coup.
Related: Netflix Eyes Pablo Escobar Series From Gaumont International TV & José Padilha
GIT is producing one of Netflix’s first original series, Eli Roth’s monster thriller Hemlock Grove, which premieres April 19. The series will chronicle the life and death of Escobar, the ruthless cartel boss and known terrorist who also was a congressman, a family man and revered by the poor as a new Robin Hood. Padilha, is slated to oversee and direct the 13-episode first season, which is eying a 2014 debut on Netflix. It came from an idea by exec producer Eric Newman, who developed it for years with … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is signing on to distribute MGM‘s Robocop, the remake of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven-directed science fiction film that will star Joel Kinnaman in the role originated by Peter Weller. The film’s being directed by Jose Padilha, helmer of the two Elite Squad films. Strike Entertainment partners Eric Newman and Marc Abraham are producing. Josh Zetumer wrote the script.
This move broadens the relationship between Sony Pictures and MGM, the latter of which was reconstituted by Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber to make movies, without a distribution pipeline. Sony and MGM are also in business on 21 Jump Street and the upcoming James Bond film Skyfall. They also partnered on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony kissed MGM in when it made a deal to distribute the 007 film) and Zookeeper.
Robocop has been following a fast track since MGM landed Kinnaman, who starred in Snabba Cash, the AMC series The Killing, and who just turned in a small but memorable turn opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House.
Related: TOLDJA! MGM Sets Joel Kinnaman For ‘Robocop’
EXCLUSIVE: MGM will reboot the 1983 thriller War Games, and the studio has set Seth Gordon to develop the film to direct. Gordon, who made his breakthrough with the gaming documentary The King of Kong, most recently directed the New Line comedy Horrible Bosses, with Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Jamie Foxx. The reconstituted MGM has been going to town with remakes — landing Jose Padilha to direct Robocop and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to script Carrie – but the John Badham-directed War Games is one that seems particularly reboot-able.
The original starred Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy as computer prodigies who finds a back door into a military computer program. They think they are playing games with the computer only to find they could trigger WWIII if the computer launches nuclear missiles at the Russians. In terms of computer games, kids were playing Pong back then; the level of sophistication with vidgames and the Internet in the digital age opens a wealth of possibilities, and Gordon will be given a wide berth to create a new take on the tale. The deal also reunites him with MGM toppers Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber and Jon Glickman, who were at Spyglass when Gordon directed Four Christmases there. Gordon’s repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: MGM has found its Robocop writer. The studio is hiring Josh Zetumer to script the reboot of the 1987 science fiction film about a cop brought back from death and drafted to become a remorseless and ruthless cyborg cop. That plan is subverted when suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him.
MGM recently hired Brazilian director Jose Padilha, helmer of the cop franchise Elite Squad and the documentary Bus 174. Padilha and Zetumer will collaborate closely in reinventing the film. Zetumer seems ready to pop. He first got on the radar when he wrote the script Infiltrator, which made the Black List. That spy thriller script is set at Warner Bros as a potential starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. Zetumer also wrote drafts of Dune when Peter Berg was going to direct that remake at Paramount, and he scripted a fourth installment of The Bourne Identity before Universal instead developed a spinoff with Tony Gilroy. Zetumer just turned in Vale, a supernatural action thriller script at Warner Bros.
MGM, back in business under Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum after coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has targeted Robocop as the first franchise in its reemergence plan. The project was a high priority for the last regime before its funding was frozen, with Darren Aronofsky planning to direct until he left to helm the Wolverine sequel at 20th Century Fox with Hugh Jackman. The studio also has … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM is negotiating with Brazilian director Jose Padilha to direct Robocop, the remake of the futuristic 1987 film originally helmed by Paul Verhoeven. The original was about a cop who was near death and was drafted to become a powerful cyborg cop, until suppressed memories of his past life come back to haunt him. Peter Weller played the character in the original him in the original and the 1990 sequel.
Reconstituted under Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, MGM has targeted Robocop as its first major franchise play, and they worked hard to find a filmmaker who could play on a global field. They were impressed by Padilha’s track record with taut crime dramas Elite Squad and a sequel that came out in 2010. Those films were Portuguese language and didn’t play huge in the U.S. But Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within grossed over $60 million in Brazil alone last year, surpassing Avatar, Shrek Forever and Alice in Wonderland in Padilha’s home country. The original won a Golden Bear at the 2007 Berlinale. Once Padilha is aboard, they will set a writer who’ll work under the director’s supervision.
The Robocop remake once had Black Swan helmer Darren Aronofsky developing it to direct before MGM halted progress on all of its pictures while trying to fix its finances. Aronofsky moved over to direct Fox’s Wolverine sequel with Hugh Jackman. MGM emerged from … Read More »