EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly Peirce, who helmed Boys Don’t Cry and most recently the Sony/MGM remake Carrie with Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore, is about as gutsy a female director as you’ll find this side of Kathryn Bigelow. She has signed on to tackle The Brand, a hard edged drama scripted by Alessandro Camon (The Messenger), based on a 2004 New Yorker article by David Grann. The film is about the notorious Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. Despite seeing leaders consigned to solitary confinement in the most secure prisons, the gang still managed to control drug dealing, prostitution and other crimes in maximum security prisons, setting policy and ordering killings through secret communication modes that were akin to morse code.
The article focused on the pursuit of the gang by U.S. Attorney Gregory Jessner, who tried 40 of the gang’s top leaders. They were already looking at long prison stretches for violent crimes, and the prosecutor tried to get them the death penalty for all of the violence they ordered or carried out. Though small in size, “The Brand,” as they were called, had achieved dominance in prison through a highly sophisticated operation, based on rigid hierarchy, ruthless violence, and secret communication codes. The gang started small in San Quentin, but the effort to split up the leaders by moving them to “supermax” prisons in the 1970s and 1980s spread the influence of the gang all over the place. Among the characters that will figure in the movie is a brawny gang member who was so disgusted by the practice of threatening prisoners with violence to loved ones that he bailed on the gang and then tried to stay alive knowing he might be killed at any moment. The rise of the Aryan Brotherhood will be chronicled through the eyes of a young recruit who rises through the ranks and eventually defects.
Ric Roman Waugh did the first draft of the script, but Camon did the rewrite and the project is in the process of gathering production financing. Film 360 is producing with Identity Films’ Anthony Mastromauro and Entendre Films’ Danielle Pelland. Entendre has been financing development.
Peirce is repped by CAA and attorney Alan Wertheimer, Camon by Matt Leipzig of Original Artists.
The original 2000 French film With A Friend Like Harry centers on a family man, Michel, who is joined on vacation by an old schoolmate, Harry, who he doesn’t … Read More »
BREAKING: After meeting and reading a group of young actresses for Carrie, MGM, Screen Gems and director Kim Peirce have made their decision and made the formal offer today to Chloe Moretz. If negotiations work out, she’ll play the title role in the remake of the Brian DePalma original that was based on the 1974 Stephen King bestseller. She’s expected to play the shy high school student Carrie White, who is raised by a nightmarish religious fanatic mother, and comes to grip with devastating telepathic powers just as she reaches puberty. She eventually uses those gifts for lethal means when fellow classmates use the prom as an excuse to humiliate her before the entire school in a parable about bullying. Sissy Spacek played the character in the first movie, with Piper Laurie playing her mother, and Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, Betty Buckley and William Katt rounding out the cast. Both Spacek and Laurie got Oscar nominations for their work in the 1976 film. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly Peirce is in talks to direct Carrie, the remake of the Stephen King thriller about the telekinetic teenager who gets pushed too far at the prom and wreaks havoc on her fellow high school students. Peirce … Read More »
At its upfront presentation in New York this evening, top-rated USA Network is set to unveil a development slate that underscores its commitment to get into the half-hour comedy business with five comedies in the works, including one starring Nathan Lane, one produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie Macdonald and one with former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi on board as consulting producer. While launching original half-hour series has been something newly minted USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber had been looking to do for a while, now the two are finally making the push with the goal to have half-hour series on the air by the 2013 launch of the network’s high-profile off-network acquisition Modern Family. As there is no rush, Wachtel said half-hour development will be a “slower process” as “we have to find the right show.” An area where the network is putting a lot of pressure is unscripted, especially after the successful recent launch of WWE Tough Enough. USA is looking to unspool its first follow-up reality series later this year. As for the half-hour comedy projects, while the network launched its hourlong series brand with projects in turnaround, including Monk and The Dead Zone, more than half of the half-hour shows on the slate are “purely original development,” Wachtel said. Exceptions include the Nathan Lane starrer On We Go, which was a spec, and Fox 21′s We the Jury, which was developed elsewhere. Meanwhile, the hourlong projects on USA’s development slate, which hail from such producers as Mark Gordon, Doug Liman and Dave Bartis, feature characters that are “more provocative” than the leads on the network’s current series, McCumber said.
Additionally, USA is returning to the limited series genre with The Enclave, a project from writers Andrea and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men), which Boys Don’t Cry helmer Kimberly Peirce is in negotiations to direct. USA had success with all three of its previous limited-series efforts — Traffic, The 4400 and The Starter Wife — the last two also spawning series. “It’s a way to broaden the feel and reach of the network,” McCumber said. USA also will announce a new hourlong Hollywood special with Vanity Fair West Coast editor Krista Smith interviewing three celebrities. While it has been ordered as a one-off, the network is open to doing more if the special is successful. USA has been looking to get into the daily talk show arena, and the Smith special is part of those efforts. Here is a list of USA’s scripted series now in development: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly Peirce has been set to direct The Knife, a drama for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment inspired by the true story of a South Central gang member who became a paid FBI informant. His covert collaboration with a … Read More »
Kimberly Peirce, the Boys Don’t Cry helmer who last directed Stop-Loss, has come aboard the Melissa Marr fantasy novel Wicked Lovely for Universal Pictures and Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Productions. Caroline Thompson is writing the script, the first … Read More »