Her credits include Avatar, Shutter Island and Alexander, produced White House Down. Lussier scripted Wes Craven’s Dracula and directed My Bloody Valentine. Skydance’s David Ellison recently hired the scribes to write an original scifi adventure film, with an idea initiated by Skydance. Megan Ellison paid a fortune for the rights several years ago, and recently teamed with brother David, whose company finds big ticket action films like Terminator to be in its wheelhouse. David, who just produced Jack Reacher, had the relationship with the scribes, though interestingly Kalogridis also is tight with Terminator creator James Cameron. Megan Ellison is in the thick of the Oscar race with Zero Dark Thirty and The Master.
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, which has been in the middle of the recent Paramount hits Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and True Grit, is making good on its promise to develop its own original material. Ellison has set Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier to script an original science fiction adventure based on an idea hatched at Skydance.
They are keeping the idea close to the vest. Kalogridis’ scripting credits include Shutter Island and Alexander, and she was exec producer of Avatar. With her Mythology Entertainment partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt, she’s producing White House Down, the Vanderbilt-scripted drama that Roland Emmerich will direct for Sony Pictures. As for Lussier, his script credits include Wes Craven’s Dracula trilogies, My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry. He is separately co-writing an untitled thriller for producer Jason Blum that Lussier will direct.
Phoenix Co-President Bradley Fischer Forms Mythology With Scribes Laeta Kalogridis And James Vanderbilt
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Phoenix Pictures co-president Bradley J. Fischer has formed Mythology Entertainment in partnership with screenwriter/producers Laeta Kalogridis and James Vanderbilt. With backing from private investors, Mythology will develop and package projects internally before taking them to studios and financiers. The scope is film, TV and digital, and the slate will include projects scripted by Kalogridis and Vanderbilt. Mythology starts the venture with an Antoine Fuqua-directed Showtime documentary on Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight, and a feature rights deal to late author John Bellairs’ Lewis Barnavelt series of gothic horror novels for kids. Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has been hired to write the script and produce.
First published in 1973, the book series has spanned 12 volumes, with illustrations from artist Edward Gorey. The books began with The House with a Clock in its Walls, which introduced the orphaned protagonist Lewis as he moves into his uncle’s spooky old Victorian mansion. Strange noises lead the lad to find secret passageways, hidden rooms and the unsettling discovery his peculiar uncle is a warlock. The boy finds his spell book and unwittingly resurrects an evil wizard who sets in motion a chain of supernatural events tied to an ancient secret hidden within the mansion’s walls. After Bellairs died, the series was continued by Brad Strickland.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Hugh Jackman is director Shawn Levy’s first choice to star in 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Voyage, the James Cameron-produced 3D tent pole film. It’s early days, but this would give Jackman a big movie to do while he and Fox sort things out with The Wolverine. The film was on a fast track to start production this year, until Darren Aronofsky dropped out as director. They’ve considered such helmers as Source Code‘s Duncan Jones and David Slade, but haven’t yet hired a helmer. There has also been complications because the Christopher McQuarrie script is set almost entirely in Japan, a country still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Pushing the picture back wouldn’t hurt Fox that much, because expectations are high for this summer’s X-Men: First Class, which would keep the franchise vibrant. It would also keep Jackman and Levy in the Fox fold at a time when their recent collaboration, Real Steel, looks like it could be a big hit for DreamWorks in the fall.
Deadline revealed in February that Levy had come aboard Fantastic Voyage, the re-imagining of the 1966 original about a team of scientists shrunk into a ship in an attempt to save a colleague’s life. Fox and Cameron are planning an ambitious 3D film with a script by Shane Salerno and Laeta Kalogridis, and the new …
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has set Shawn Levy to direct Fantastic Voyage, the James Cameron-produced 3D tent pole film. I’m told that Levy has boarded the re-imagining of the 1966 original about a team of scientists shrunk into a ship in an attempt to save a colleague’s life. Fox and Cameron have been moving cautiously on a big budget film that, from early in the script once they go inside the body, is almost exclusively CGI. The script is by Shane Salerno, with Laeta Kalogridis working on a polish.
The directing job has been one of the big open slots out there since Paul Greengrass ended a flirtation with the picture last year. I’m told that helmers like Darren Aronofsky, Timur Bekmambetov, Jonathan Mostow and Louis Leterrier met with Cameron. Levy is an unexpected choice, but he is a Fox favorite who is broadening beyond comedies into bigger fare.
He has a strong commercial instinct, and made Fox a fortune with the Night at the Museum franchise and before that Cheaper By the Dozen and What Happens in Vegas, which led the film to re-up his 21 Laps banner last year for another 3 years. He last directed the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night for Fox. Levy most recently directed the hi-tech action film Real Steel for DreamWorks with Hugh Jackman and recently signing on for another action adventure …