EXCLUSIVE: Filmmaker Kimberly Peirce, director of this year’s Carrie reboot, has signed a first-look deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, Peirce will direct and produce scripted television projects for network and cable. She may also direct ABC Studios pilots from other producers during the upcoming network pilot season. It would make the pilot directing debut of Peirce, whose only previous TV gig was directing an episode of Showtime’s The L Word. Peirce, repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman, burst onto the scene with her first feature, the 1999 Boys Don’t Cry, which she co-wrote and directed. Peirce also wrote and directed the 2008 feature Stop-Loss.
The documentary Matt Shepard Is A Friend Of Mine premieres in L.A. tomorrow, 15 years after the hate-crime murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard in a Wyoming field. That heinous act gave way to a national dialogue on hate crime and led to The Matthew Shepard and James E. Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act that was signed into federal law in 2009. Shepard’s murder also came as director Kimberly Peirce was heading into production on Boys Don’t Cry, the 1999 film based on the true story of transgendered teen Brandon Teena — a role that launched the career of Hilary Swank who won the Oscar for playing a girl who lived like a boy and liked girls. Here’s Peirce’s thoughtful taped intro of the docu that will run tomorrow ahead of the screening, sponsored by nonprofit Facing History:
Kimberly Peirce To Helm ‘The Brand’, Alessandro Camon-Scripted Drama On Aryan Brotherhood’s Violent Prison Reign
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 …
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 remember. At first Harry seems to be just what the family needs, but the friendlier he gets the more mysteriously menacing his effects become. Kimberly Peirce has been set to direct the psychological thriller, which Wentworth Miller is adapting. Maven Pictures‘ Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray is aboard to produce alongside Michelle Krumm. Peirce is directing the remake of Carrie starring Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore. Miller’s latest script is Stoker, a horror-suspense pic that Fox Searchlight will release March 1, 2013, with Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska starring and Park Chan-wook directing.
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.
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 is best known for helming another troubled female coming-of-age tragedy, the Hilary Swank-starrer Boys Don’t Cry. Carrie was previously turned into the 1976 film that starred Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and Amy Irving, with Piper Laurie as the repressive mother. The script has been written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, whose rewrite work helped save Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway. Aguirre-Sacasa set out to write a version of Carrie that is more faithful to the King book, and more grounded than the Brian De Palma-directed film. That kind of grounded material is something Peirce does well. She last directed Stop-Loss and is repped at CAA.
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:
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 hard-nosed agent led to a volume of busts ranging from crack and automatic weapons dealing to murder. It turned the gang scene so upside down that leaders issued a “kill all snitches” edict that put the informant’s life in constant danger. The script is being written by Vineet Dewan and Brian Grazer is producing.
Peirce, Dewan and Imagine’s Grazer and Erica Huggins essentially revived a project that the studio and production company first acquired two years ago. The genesis is The Inside Man, a 2008 GQ Magazine article by Guy Lawson. The piece told the story of the young Crips member who simply walked into an FBI office to offer his services because he was worn down by the senseless crime and killing around him.
Peirce, who followed Boys Don’t Cry with Stop-Loss, sparked to the subject matter at a time when such dramas were falling out of favor at Universal and other studios. She and Dewan made it easier to embrace by writing a 60-page script-ment, with Dewan fashioning a graphic novel. Both served as a detailed blueprint for the movie. Peirce just came off serving on the jury of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was impressed by the new …
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 in a series about a teenaged girl who has seen dangerous faeries all her life. Taught by her grandmother to ignore them so they won’t attack, the teen realizes she must drop that and confront a world she has been raised to fear.