EXCLUSIVE: After a feverish day-long bidding battle, I’m hearing that Universal Pictures is closing a 7-figure deal for an untitled comedy that will have Seth Rogen and Zac Efron attached to star. Rogen and Evan Goldberg will produce through their Point Grey Pictures banner. I’m told that this was an incredible deal that capitalized on the R-rated successes of the summer, and that beyond the 7-figures for writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, Rogen will be paid $8 million with a separate low seven-figure producing fee.
Several studios bid on the pitch that will be written by Cohen and O’Brien, who, like Rogen and Goldberg, are Judd Apatow proteges. Cohen and O’Brien will be executive producers. The pitch will be an R-rated comedy that has the tone of Old School. Rogen plays a regular guy who lives near an alpha male fraternity house. Efron is a member of the fraternity, whose raucous behavior wreaks havoc on the other guy’s family life. The scribes hatched the idea and brought it to Goldberg and it was packaged with Efron and Rogen. The bidding came down to Universal and New Line. Uni made Bridesmaids and New Line made Horrible Bosses, both of which were big R-rated hits. CAA and Alchemy Entertainment repped Efron, and CAA repped the writers. UTA and Principal repped Rogen and UTA repped Goldberg.
Mea culpa, I took today off rather than suffer more of Universal’s humiliating slings and arrows inevitably directed at me. Because, thanks to matinee and pre-sale tickets, the studio’s Bridesmaids passed Knocked Up around noon as Judd Apatow’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: On the same week that the sleeper Bridesmaids crossed the $100 million domestic gross mark, Universal Pictures has just made a preemptive acquisition of an original comic pitch that will re-team its director, Paul Feig, with Bridesmaids producer Judd … Read More »
BREAKING:Since neither Universal Pictures nor Relativity Media are blinking about going ahead with rival Snow White films, it seemed inevitable that Universal would not be content for its film to come out six months later. So the studio has just … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Oscar-nominated Animal Kingdom star Jacki Weaver to join the cast of Five Year Engagement, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy that stars Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt, Rhys Ifans and Lauren Weedman. Nicholas Stoller … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Albert Brooks is negotiating to join the untitled comedy that Judd Apatow wrote and will direct for Universal Pictures. The film will star Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, who are reprising the roles they played in Knocked Up. … Read More »
The Paley Center for Media announced the full schedule for this year’s William S. Paley TV Festival, which will take place March 4-17. The highlight is a Freaks & Geeks/Undeclared reunion moderated by Judd Apatow that will feature alums from the two cult series. Hot shows/perennial fan favorites The Walking Dead, True Blood, Glee, Supernatural and American Idol will hold panels. In an intriguing pairing, David E. Kelley is slated to moderate the panel for USA’s White Collar. Here is the schedule: Read More »
UPDATE: I am not alone in my opinion. I’ve just received confirmation that insiders have been complaining for weeks to Universal that this trailer is not funny and not representative of what they claim is a good comedy. Let’s see if the studio tries to improve on it. … Read More »
Judd Apatow is very nervous about hosting the Producers Guild Of America awards tonight and has been honing his stuff to make sure it’s funny. “I am very grateful to the people at the PGA for not broadcasting this ceremony,” … Read More »
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
He’s baaaaaaack. Paul Reubens (best known by his nom de plume Pee-wee Herman) invaded Pasadena and HBO’s presentation at TCA Friday afternoon, presented live via satellite from New York to promote his forthcoming 90-minute special … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Judd Apatow is on the clock for the next comedy he’ll write, produce and direct. Universal has set a June 1, 2012 release date for an untitled film Apatow is writing right now. Aside from his prolific output as … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams have landed the two leads opposite Lena Dunham in Dunham’s HBO comedy pilot executive produced by Judd Apatow and Jenni Kohner. Also cast in the pilot in a supporting role is Adam Driver (HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack).
The untitled comedy, which 24-year-old prodigy Dunham wrote and will direct/co-executive produce, is about the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of three girlfriends in their early 20′s: Hannah (Dunham), an eternal intern at a publishing house in SoHo and a hopeful writer; Marnie (Williams), a sexy, bitchy and ambitious assistant at a slick political PR firm whose goal id to practice environmental law; and Jessa (Kirke), a space cadet with hippie tendencies who wants to be an artist/educator. Gersh-repped Driver will play a handsome but slightly off carpenter with whom Hannah has been sleeping for the past 7 months.
Kirke co-starred opposite Dunham in Dunham’s much buzzed about feature Tiny Furniture, which won the top prize at this year’s South by Southwest and just earned two Gotham Film Awards nominations. Dunham was the writer, director and star of the film, with Kirke playing her friend. (photo of the two from the movie is above; the trailer for the movie, which features Dunham and Kirke, is at the bottom of the story.) This seems to be the first major professional acting gig for Williams who graduated from Yale earlier this year and is pursuing a career as an actress and a singer. The daughter of the NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has gained online popularity with several videos, including the viral That’s Why I Chose Yale and her recent performance of the Mad Men theme song (video below). Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has given a pilot order to a half-hour comedy project from comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow and hot young prodigy Lena Dunham.
The 24-year-old Dunham wrote the untitled comedy, about … Read More »
Now that Jeremy Renner snagged the big male lead opposite Tom Cruise in the next Mission: Impossible, the focus of Paramount Pictures, director Brad Bird and producers Cruise and JJ Abrams are intent on filling the role of a young female operative. I’m … Read More »
Hot feature comedy writer-director Nick Stoller is returning to television with a big premium script deal at 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Chernin Entertainment.
Stoller, a member of the Judd Apatow gang (he started off as a writer on Apatow’s … Read More »
What a difference nearly two decades can make. Back in 1991, Paul Reubens was arrested for allegedly masturbating publicly in a Florida theater. His showbiz career was seemingly over. Now he’s heading to Broadway, making regular TV appearances, and staging a big … Read More »