EXCLUSIVE: Hot off the biggest animated movie of all time with Frozen, Josh Gad is reteaming with Disney. He and his writing partner Ryan Dixon will be developing an untitled comedy/family adventure for the studio. The project marks his first post-Frozen collaboration with Disney, having won an Annie Award for voicing Olaf the snowman in the Oscar-winning toon. He has a number of acting projects in the pipeline, including Pixels at Sony, The Wedding Ringer at Screen Gems and Gilligan’s Island at Warner Bros. He’s also starring with Billy Crystal in FX’s The Comedians, which was picked up to series last month. He next appears in Zach Braff’s crowdfunded film Wish I Was Here. He is repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and attorney P.J. Shapiro. Dixon penned the comedy Opening Night and is writing the Twins sequel Triplets.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony has found its leads for Pixels, the Chris Columbus-directed film. Kevin James and Josh Gad are in early talks to star in the film. Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo’s Happy Madison is producing. Tim Herlihy and Tim Dowling wrote the script, based on short by Patrick Jean. Production will begin this summer. The logline: When aliens attack by staging versions of ’80s video games on an epic scale, four champion arcade gamers are called back into action to save the world.
EXCLUSIVE: Remember Gilligan’s Island, the venerable 1960s TV series about seven castaways who wind up stranded on a tropical island after a torrential storm shipwrecks their yacht The S.S. Minnow? Warner Bros is charting a course for a feature film based on the series. It will be fashioned as a star vessel for Book Of Mormon‘s Josh Gad. Gad, Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez will write the script. Lloyd Schwartz, Ross Schwartz, Tracey Silvers and Cathy Silvers will be executive producers. They’re not saying what character Gad would play, but the title character seems a possibility, though he could conceivably play The Skipper.
The original series with the catchy theme song was created by Sherwood Schwartz, and starred Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr as Skipper, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer as Thurston and Lovey Howell, Russell Johnson as The Professor, Dawn Wells as Mary Ann, and Tina Louise as Ginger. A three-hour charter boat tour from Honolulu turned into a three-season stay on CBS and three follow-up telepics as the marooned shipmates thrived in syndication with the family audience.
Gad is separately the choice to play manic stand-up comedian Sam Kinison in Kinison, a biopic that will be directed by Borat helmer Larry Charles and produced by David Permut from a script by Rich Wilkes. The …
EXCLUSIVE: David Permut’s long-in-the-works film about the late comic Sam Kinison has taken form. Larry Charles, who helmed the Sacha Baron Cohen comedies Borat, Bruno and The Dictator, has signed on to direct and Josh Gad is set to play the pentecostal preacher-turned-manic standup comedian. Kinison has a script by xXx scribe Rich Wilkes, based on the book Brother Sam by Bill Kinison. Permut will produce, Tom Shadyac and Bill Kinison will be exec producers, and Steve Longi and Permut Presentations’ Chris Mangano will co-produce.
“There was nothing conventional about Sam Kinison and neither will be the cinematic interpretation of his life,” said Permut. “Larry Charles is the perfect director to bring Rich Wilkes’ incredible script to screen, and Josh Gad’s tremendous ability to morph into a role will bring great depth to Kinison’s larger than life persona.”
The film picks up the Kinison story in the 80s, as he transitions from the family business of Pentecostal preaching and into stand up comedy in Hollywood. Kinison and Charles cracked that racket around the same time, when Kinison was tearing tickets for The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd and waiting for his chance, while Charles was hustling to sell jokes to the headlining comics long before he became writer/producer of Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage.
Sex addiction. “Isn’t that just something that guys say when they get caught cheating?” Now that life-straining, family-ruining blight on American society has its own comedy feature in Thanks For Sharing. Stuart Blumberg’s directorial debut follows three addicts as they wade through a 12-step recovery program and try to manage actual romantic relationships. Written by Blumberg and Matt Winston, the film stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit and Alecia Moore. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, who teamed to acquire the pic after its premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, open it September 20. Watch the first trailer here:
Screen Gems, Miramax At Altar On Buddy Comedy; Kevin Hart, Josh Gad Star And Jeremy Garelick Directs
BREAKING: Screen Gems and Miramax are collaborating on a currently untitled comedy that will star Think Like A Man‘s Kevin Hart and The Book Of Mormon‘s Josh Gad. Jeremy Garelick will make his feature directing debut on the film, which was written under The Golden Tux by Garelick and Jay Lavender back when they were writing partners on films like The Break-Up. They wrote this one for Miramax. In the comedy, Hart plays a charismatic guy who provides best man services for socially challenged guys, who can’t get somebody to agree to stand by them on the day of their wedding. Gad plays a groom-to-be who finds himself in just such a situation, but, to make matters worse, he fabricates the names of not only a best man but nine groomsmen as well. When all else fails, Doug seeks out Jimmy’s services to carry out a charade designed to make Doug look his best but threatens to destroy everything if it fails.
Miramax’s Adam Fields and Will Packer are producing the film. Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper will oversee the project on behalf of Screen Gems. Hart next will be seen in his concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain being released in July. In addition to starring in Screen Gems’ Think Like a Man, Hart will also be seen in Screen Gems’ upcoming projects About Last Night and Think Like a Man Too. Gad just opened in The Internship and the upcoming Jobs and Thanks For Sharing.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
NBC’s new White House comedy 1600 Penn doesn’t plan to bring in real politicians as guest stars, producers said today during the show’s lunchtime panel at TCA. Executive producers Jason Winer and Jon Lovett (a former Obama speechwriter) said they will definitely have real-life reporters and media figures as guests. Lovett and other panelists said upcoming guests may include NBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd of NBC News and Larry King.
The creative team also said it would take a cue from the White House drama The West Wing by not bringing very recent history into the show, which stars co-creator/co-executive producer Josh Gad as the black sheep son of the White House family (Gad was also a star of Broadway’s Book of Mormon).
The show, which also stars Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman as the President and First Lady, also has Modern Family veteran Jason Winer as executive producer along with Mike Royce. Winer acknowledged that audience will probably recognize some “Modern Family DNA inherent in the family dynamics. You will start to see this family become a warm cohesive unit.” Lovett seconded the opinion that the show is more about family than politics.
Gad said he met Winer “on the Modern Family circuit” and Winer approached him about doing a White …
Josh Gad And Ryan Dixon On Script Duty For ‘Triplets’ With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito and Eddie Murphy
EXCLUSIVE: Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad and Ryan Dixon are now set to script the treatment for Triplets, the Twins sequel that will be produced by Montecito for Universal Pictures. Dixon will write the script. The film has Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito attached to reprise their roles as the mismatched siblings, and Eddie Murphy is attached to play the third brother. Ivan Reitman, who directed the first one, is producing.
Gad is an exec producer and star of the NBC comedy 1600 Penn, which premieres in January, and he’s also starring in Thanks For Sharing opposite Tim Robbins and Mark Ruffalo, which made its debut at Sundance. Gad is repped by ICM, Brillstein and attorney PJ Shapiro. Dixon is also repped by ICM Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Gad has signed up for The Internship. The Book Of Mormon star will join Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the 20th Century Fox comedy about two middle-aged men who have to start over at the bottom of the career ladder. Shawn Levy is directing. Gad will play Headphones, an anti-social engineer at the tech firm where Vaughn and Wilson are interning. Gad starts filming in next month. JoAnna Garica, Aasif Mandvi and Jessica Szohr co-star.
NBC To Order Josh Gad-Jason Winer Comedy Pilot With Gad Starring; Actor Also Poised To Topline MGM Feature ‘The Game’
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that NBC is about to hand out a late pilot order to 1600 Penn, a White House family comedy from Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad, Modern Family director Jason Winer and former speechwriter to President Barack Obama Jon Lovett. The order comes after Gad, originally only attached as co-writer and executive producer, also has agreed to also star in the project, produced by 20th Century Fox TV where Winer is under an overall deal. Additionally, Gad is in negotiations to play the lead opposite James Franco in Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s feature The Game at MGM produced by the Weitz Brothers. The movie is based by the book by Neil Strauss chronicling his efforts to become a pick-up artist. Gad will play Strauss, a Rolling Stone journalist who is a great writer but is not great at picking up women. He goes undercover and his life changes. Franco plays Strauss’ teacher.
1600 Penn, co-created by Gad, Winer and Lovett, is a dysfunctional family comedy where the out-of-control oldest son (Gad) returns home and becomes not only it’s biggest liability but also the glue holding everyone together. The twist is that this family resides in the White House. NBC nabbed the pitch in October with a put pilot commitment. The project was tracking well and many were surprised when it didn’t end up among the 13 half-hour pilots picked up at NBC. But conversations between the network and 20th TV continued, zeroing on the possibility for Gad to star. After several days of intense negotiations, Gad agreed to do it, clearing the way for a pilot green light.
From NBC, the network that brought us The West Wing, comes 1600 Penn, a family comedy set at the White House. The network bought pre-emptively the single-camera comedy — from Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad, Modern Family director Jason Winer and former speechwriter to President Barack Obama Jon Lovett — with a put pilot commitment. Gad, Winer and Lovett co-created the project, about a dysfunctional family that just happens to live at the most famous address in America, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 20th Century Fox TV, where Winer is under an overall deal, is producing. The premise originated with Winer and longtime friend Gad bouncing around possible series ideas until they settled on the First Family comedy setup. They knew they needed a writer and turned to 20th TV. Conveniently, the studio had signed a script deal with former Obama speechwriter Lovett, who had taken meetings indicating that he wanted to get into the half-hour scripted comedy business. 20th TV got the trio together and they honed the idea for 1600 Penn. All three will executive produce, with Lovett writing the script and Winer attached to direct.
Josh Gad, the star of Broadway smash The Book of Mormon, has signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners for management. He continues to be represented by ICM and the law firm of Ziffren Brittenham. Gad, who first rose to prominence in 2008 with his co-starring roles on Fox’s sitcom Back to You and in the Sony feature 21, recently received a lead actor Tony Award nomination for his role in the Tony-winning musical The Book of Mormon. Additionally, he is a correspondent on The Daily Show and voices the lead character on the upcoming MTV animated series Good Vibes. Gad also is developing a half-hour comedy for NBC that he will write.