CBS has given a pilot order to Scorpion, a drama from Nick Santora, Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The project, which had a put pilot commitment, was written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and will be directed by Fast & Furious’ Lin, with CBS TV Studios producing. It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione talks with host David Bloom about which overseas titles survived the largest-ever field of candidates to nab an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and one notable director who was left out once again; the flood of announcements that are finally bringing this year’s Berlin Film Festival into focus, including the latest film by Richard Linklater; and red-hot director Justin Lin’s new Chinese-language, 3D blockbuster of a remake.
They also take their weekly look at the global box office, marked this time around by one of Walter Mitty’s biggest dreams, or at least that of his producers; Jack Ryan’s Chinese debut; and The Wolf of Wall Street, set loose in Europe’s box offices.
Justin Lin is making his first filmic foray into China, and into 3D. The director plans to helm a remake of 1982’s The Shaolin Temple which starred Jet Li in his debut role. Hot off a press conference in Beijing to announce the project, Lin’s partner at Perfect Storm Entertainment, CEO Troy Craig Poon, tells me the plan is to hire “an A+ list Hollywood writer to tackle the story” although there is no start date for now. “We will commence only when we feel this is ready,” says Poon. The 1982 Shaolin Temple was a Hong Kong martial arts movie directed by Chang Hsin Yen. The original story was based on Shaolin folklore and set during the transition period between the Sui Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty. When the Tang emperor is betrayed by one of his generals, the son of one of his slave workers escapes to the temple, trains in kung fu, and sets out to kill the traitor. The remake project is a collaboration of Beijing Enlight Pictures, Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars and Perfect Storm. Poon, Wu and Enlight’s Wang Changtian will produce. Poon says the budget will be north of $100M and that the idea is for it to be a “blockbuster unlike ever seen for (the Chinese) market.” He believes the timing of the film could coincide with China becoming the world’s No. 1 movie market.
EXCLUSIVE: Shawn Ryan is heading back to the fifties with a new drama project, which has landed at Fox with a put pilot commitment. Co-written by Ryan and Davey Holmes (Shameless), with Fast & The Furious‘ Justin Lin directing, the untitled project is set in 1957 in the Territory of Hawaii, which is on a path to become the 50th state in the Union two years later. Statehood and tourism are about to make a few men very rich, and when the brother of a small-time Hawaiian hustler is murdered, he resolves to wage war on the most powerful man on the island. Sony Pictures TV, where Ryan’s MiddKidd Prods. is based, is producing, with Ryan, Lin and Holmes executive producing alongside MiddKidd’s Marney Hochman and Danielle Woodrow of Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment. The Hawaii project reunites Ryan and Holmes with Fox where the two previously worked on the Ryan-created cop drama The Chicago Code. This is Ryan’s second broadcast sale this season. He also reunited with his Last Resort collaborator Karl Gajdusek for a new ABC drama project, which has a sizable penalty.
Chinese media entrepreneur Bruno Wu in his recent interview with me touts ”a next-generation entertainment company that’s lean and mean and scalable. Building an ecosystem for the …
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros won a multiple studio bidding battle for screen rights to an upcoming thriller novel by The Breach author Patrick Lee. Justin Lin is attached to direct and produce with Michael De Luca.
The untitled action thriller was just auctioned in a big pre-emptive, three-book deal that will be published next winter by Macmillan. The book is the first of a series featuring an ex-special operative named Sam Dryden. In the character-driven thriller, Dryden runs into a mysterious young girl who is not quite what she seems, and he embarks on a journey to keep her safe from a powerful government agent intent on hunting her down.
This comes as Lin puts the finishing touches on Fast & Furious 6 for Universal, which he directed and produced. That marks his fourth turn in the high-octane action series he helped revive, and Lin is now looking for other films to do through his Barnstorm Pictures banner. Barnstorm president of production Elaine Chin is also producing with Pouya Shahbazian, who manages the author.
EXCLUSIVE: Fast Five helmer Justin Lin is broadening out from fast cars. Lin has acquired screen rights to the critically acclaimed David Henry Hwang comic play Chinglish, with plans to direct and produce the screen adaptation through his Barnstorm Pictures banner. Hwang will write the script and will co-produce with Bobbi Thompson. The play, a romantic comedy with a timely, political spin, opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre en route to Broadway. An international tour beginning at Berkeley Repertory Theatre starts this fall. ”As soon as I saw Chinglish on Broadway, I began to envision this smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy as a film,” Lin said. “I’m excited about working with David to bring this very timely story to the screen.” Lin’s Barnstorm has a first-look deal with Universal, and the studio will get first crack at this.
Beijing/Los Angeles, March 19th, 2012: Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Film Studios has signed a joint venture with acclaimed director Justin Lin (‘BETTER LUCK TOMORROW’, ‘FAST AND FURIOUS: FAST FIVE’) to form Perfect Storm Entertainment.
Justin Lin will partner with Bruno Wu: Chairman of Seven Stars Global Entertainment (SSGE), the parent company of Seven Stars Film Studios; and CEO of Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity Ltd (HSSMPEG) to create a slate of films.