EXCLUSIVE: Meet the offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar. Disney Channel has ordered to production Descendants, its first live-action original movie tapping into Disney’s vault of classic fairytale characters. Directed by High School Musical helmer and choreographer Kenny Ortega in his return to Disney Channel, the contemporary adventure-comedy revolves around the progeny of some of Disney’s most evil villains, introducing a modern generation of teenagers who question the evil that’s always been in their hearts. Casting is underway, overseen by High School Musical casting directors Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, with production slated to begin in the spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel. “We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”
Written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (The Starter Wife, Runaway Bride), Descendants is set in a present-day idyllic kingdom, where the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s Beauty And The Beast) is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. However, the evil teens face a dilemma: Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom? Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is postponing the Dirty Dancing reboot. The studio has put the remake on ice for another year for casting reasons, Deadline has learned. The remake of the 1987 Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey film was … Read More »
Lionsgate said today that its remake of Dirty Dancing will get a wide release on July 26, 2013. Deadline broke the news in August that the studio had set Kenny Ortega to direct the period musical drama, a new … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has set Maria Maggenti to script the Dirty Dancing remake that has Kenny Ortega attached to direct. Ortega was the choreographer of the 1987 Emile Ardolino-helmed film about a pampered young girl who summers with her upscale … Read More »
UPDATE: Lionsgate has now confirmed Deadline’s Dirty Dancing story. The release appears below the original story.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has set Kenny Ortega to direct Dirty Dancing, the remake of the 1987 Emile Ardolino-helmed film about a pampered young girl who summers with her upscale family at an establishment in the Catskills and falls in love with the resident dance instructor. It brings Ortega full circle, since he choreographed and came up with the grinding “dirty dancing” that made the original sleeper hit one of the most profitable independent films ever made to that point. The original, made by Vestron Pictures, cost $6 million, grossed $213.95 million worldwide, and went on to become a big video title. Unbelievably, Vestron took so long to work out a sequel (some of it was cast salary, and I recall Patrick Swayze asking $5 million and Jennifer Grey a comparable amount), that Vestron folded before the movie could be mobilized. Lionsgate first got involved when it released Artisan’s 2004 sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, but it didn’t feature the same cast and it tanked. Lionsgate is starting over. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is negotiating to turn the Green Day-fueled Broadway musical American Idiot into a feature film. Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning Milk scribe, is in talks to write the script, and Michael Mayer will direct. Mayer helmed the stage run of the musical, which is closing on Broadway April 24 and launching a tour in the fall. Black most recently scripted J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood film that stars Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover.
The musical, which uses the songs of the punk band’s seminal 2004 album to tell the coming-of-age story of three small-town guys, was optioned before its opening last spring by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. They previously turned the stage hit Mamma Mia! into a Universal film. It is expected that Green Day lead singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong will be courted to play the role of the drug dealer St. Jimmy. Each time he did a stint in the role on Broadway, the grosses rose considerably at the St. James Theatre. The band was actively involved in the formation of the musical. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has ended plans to turn the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights into a feature with director Kenny Ortega. I’m told that the studio made a hard decision to drop the project. Expectation is that creator … Read More »