EXCLUSIVE: Former Paramount Pictures executive-turned movie producer Karen Rosenfelt, producer of such features as the Twilight and Percy Jackson franchises and The Devil Wears Prada, is making her first foray into television through her Sunswept Entertainment banner. Sunswept’s newly launched TV division, headed by Alex Maggioni, has sold two projects: a drama to NBC and a comedy to Fox, which are produced by 20th Century Fox TV, sibling of Fox 2000 where Sunswept has a feature deal. Both projects are executive produced by Sunswept’s Rosenfelt, Maggioni and Ken Blancato.
NBC drama Town And Gown, written/executive produced by Tom Garrigus (Everwood), centers on a recently defeated senator and former football star who returns to take the reins as President of his alma mater, a midwestern state university. His new role becomes complicated when one of the best and brightest students goes missing and the mystery of her disappearance reveals the complex relationship between the large university and small town as well the complicated lives of college students today. UTA-repped Garrigus serves as co-executive producer on A&E’s The Glades.
Fox single-camera comedy Best Man, written/executive produced by Paul Ruehl (The Hard Times Of RJ Berger), centers on a longtime, successful bachelor who finds himself guiding his best friend’s wife through the realities of single life after her husband runs off and leaves them both. For Ruehl, repped by … Read More »
If Summit Entertainment is actually serious about a merger or a sale, the company has the benefit of wheeling and dealing while it is at a high-water mark. Summit announced today that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, flew past $500 million in global box office in just 12 days. The film is at $508 million today. It was released November 18 and single-handedly has brightened the overall box office picture. The film has generated $223 million domestic, making it one of only 12 films to reach $220 million in 10 days. Creatively, I thought the movie would have been much better had director Bill Condon finished Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn book in one movie. Let’s face it, the Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) wedding and subsequent pregnancy were sooooo drawn out, and nothing much happened. But then again, I am not a teenage girl or a Summit executive looking at another half-billion dollar haul once the second installment comes out next November 16. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: While the outbreak of zombie and vampire films has been well chronicled, Hollywood has also become flush with Frankenstein films. The latest is an adaptation of the Peter Ackroyd novel The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, which has just gotten Pulitzer-winning Proof playwright David Auburn signed to write the script. The project is set with RT Features, and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures. The story covers the youthful days of Frankenstein, who begins experimenting with corpses, influenced by the outspoken English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whose Mary wrote the book. She’s a character in the film as well. RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira will produce with Tapert and Ilene Staple, while Fernando Loureiro, Jeff Vespa and Ghost House’s Nathan Kahane and Lawrence Grey will be exec producers.
That’s just one of several Frankenflicks. Universal is developing a new version of the 1931 studio classic movie with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Stuber; Summit Entertainment is developing This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, an adaptation of the Kenneth Oppel novel that is being produced by Twilight Saga’s Karen Rosenfelt; and Columbia Pictures and producer Matt Tomach recently acquired Frankenstein, a contemporary re-telling of the famous tale based on a pitch by Craig Fernandez. If that’s not enough, former Guns n Roses guitar hero Slash, whose Slasher Films is teamed with Scout Productions on a Jay Russell-attached Wake the Dead, a Frankenstein tale based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night). And let’s not forget Fox 2000’s remake of the 1975 camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, last heard from around Halloween, when the studio courted Glee’s Ryan Murphy, right after he wrapped an episode devoted to the original movie. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired screen rights to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, a novel by Kenneth Oppel. Summit’s Twilight Saga producer Karen Rosenfelt is aboard to produce. The novel will be published by Simon & Schuster in the summer. The action adventure surrounds young Victor Frankenstein and his attempt to save his twin brother, Konrad, who falls gravely ill. Victor seeks out a mysterious old alchemist who sends Victor and his best friend Elizabeth on a dangerous quest to find three rare ingredients needed to create the Elixir of Life, a fabled serum that will give the drinker perpetual health. There are betrayals along the way and a love triangle between Victor, Elizabeth and Konrad. The book is full of insider references involving Mary Shelley and her original Frankenstein novel, and sets up the subsequent storyline for that famous tale. I’m told that Universal–which has plans to remake its classic Frankenstein film with Guillermo del Toro–was also interested, but Summit’s exec team swooped in. ICM repped the film rights for lit agent Writer’s House.
EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that’s high six-figure against 7-figures, Fox 2000 has acquired Pure, the first of a three-novel series by Julianna Baggott. The film will be produced by Karen Rosenfelt, who is one of the producers on the Twilight Saga series and whose Fox 2000 projects include The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me. The book created wild buzz this week, and last night, it looked like DreamWorks was going to get it. By this morning, Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 took it off the table this morning by buying all three books. Fox 2000 exec Rodney Ferrell brought it in. I’m told that Pure is a dystopic tale about an apocalyptic event that creates two classes of people. The underclass consists of those who were scarred, and the “Pures” are those who were untouched and live separate from the others. The movie deal occurs before an auction for publishing rights that has been scheduled for Tuesday by New York-based lit agent Nat Sobel. Manager Justin Manask, who handled the film deal with attorney Marcy Morris, distributed watermarked copies of the script to 6 producers earlier this week. Reaction to the manuscript was strong. Baggot wrote The Anybodies and co-authored Which Brings Me To You, which is being turned into an Anonymous Content-produced feature scripted by Keith Bunin, with Suzanne Bier set to direct.