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EXCLUSIVE! Matt Reeves Is Warner Bros’ Pick For ‘Twilight Zone’ Movie

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been chosen by Warner Bros to direct The Twilight Zone, the Jason Rothenberg-scripted thriller based on the classic Rod Serling TV series. Negotiations will get underway early next week, but this is an assignment that was coveted by a number of top directors.
The Twilight Zone is being produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Michael Ireland. Warner Bros’ Matt Cherniss is the exec.  Though the last Twilight Zone film  was an anthology with different directors, this one is a big science fiction action movie with a single freestanding story that is linked to the original series mainly in that it shares that familiarly eerie feel. The hope is to sign to sign Reeves quickly, continue to work on the script and get the picture into production by next summer.

Reeves is aligned with several major projects that will keep him busy for some time. He recently signed on to develop to direct This Dark Endeavor, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein tale based on Kenneth Oppel’s novel, with Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Reeves is also attached to direct the Justin Cronin vampire novel The Passage for Fox 2000, and he’s got a deal at Universal to write and direct a film based on the Ray Nelson short story 8 O’Clock in Read More »

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Matt Reeves And Jacob Estes Take On Summit’s Frankenstein Film

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In director Matt Reeves has been signed to direct This Dark Endeavor, with Mean Creek writer/helmer Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Deadline told you yesterday about a batch of films based on the Mary Shelley Frankenstein novel. Summit just took a step forward in this contest. The film is based on the Kenneth Oppel novel This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. It will be published this summer by Simon & Schuster, the first of a series.

In the Oppel novel, Frankenstein’s twin Konrad is gravely ill. His brother seeks out a mysterious old alchemist to help him produce the Elixir of Life, a serum that will bestow the gift of perpetual health. You can’t order this drink at a pub, and Frankenstein sets out on a dangerous adventure to find the elusive contents. He’s accompanied by his best friend Elizabeth, who is sweet on Konrad. Things get complicated among the three of them. Read More »

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Latest ‘Franken’ Film Will Be Adaptation

Mike Fleming

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 »

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Summit’s Post-’Twilight’ Chapter To Be Underwritten By Book Adaptations

Mike Fleming

The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.

As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell … Read More »

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Summit Books Frankenstein Origin Tale ‘This Dark Endeavor’

Mike Fleming

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.

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