EXCLUSIVE: M. Night Shyamalan is in talks to re-team with Bruce Willis in Labor Of Love, based on one of the very first scripts Shyamalan sold in his career. The project will be financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, which is coming off the twice Oscar-nominated hit Lone Survivor and is prepping the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence. The plan is to start production mid-September in Philadelphia. IM Global’s Stuart Ford is making a deal to sell the picture in Berlin. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Blinding Edge’s Shyamalan and Ashwin Rajan.
Shyamalan and Willis made The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, which are my two favorite films by the director. This project goes back even further, as it was one of the very first screenplays that Shyamalan sold. This one went to Fox in 1993, but it didn’t get made back then because Shyamalan was fighting to get into the director’s chair and the studio wasn’t biting. The script came into play several years ago when Denzel Washington was eyeing it.
It’s a lot closer to Shyamalan’s first script Praying With Anger than the supernatural stuff he did later. In Labor Of Love, Willis will play a Philadelphia book store owner who loses the love of his life in a tragic accident. Never big on words, he becomes haunted by the notion that he never properly told his wife how much he loved her. Since she once asked if he would walk across the country for her, he decides to show her posthumously just how much he did love her. That trek starts from Philadelphia to Pacifica, CA, which was her favorite place. Read More »
Few filmmakers are more disliked than M. Night Shyamalan for squandering opportunity after opportunity in what was once a successful career. Or for his limitless ego. It’s now led to his new book, I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America’s Education Gap. I just threw up in my mouth a little:
EXCLUSIVE: Juliette Lewis is set to co-star opposite Matt Dillon in the Fox event series Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan. Based on a best-selling novel, Wayward Pines is an intense thriller about Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon), who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions as he faces the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Lewis, repped by UTA and Untitled, will play Beverly, a warm and approachable small-town bartender who doesn’t mince words. Ethan quickly learns that Beverly is just as wary of Wayward Pines as he is.
Terrence Howard (Crash) has been cast as a series regular in the Fox event series Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan. Based on a best-selling novel, Wayward Pines is an intense, mind-bending hriller about Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions as Ethan faces the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Howard, repped by CAA and Jeff Shumway, plays Wayward Pines Sheriff Pope, joining Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones and Melissa Leo. He will next be seen in Prisoners, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and The Best Man Holiday.
Mexican actress Adriana Barraza is set to co-star opposite George Lopez in Saint George, FX‘s upcoming 10-90 sitcom from Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury. Created and co-written by Matt Williams, David McFadzean and Lopez, Saint George revolves around the chaotic life of a recently divorced working class Mexican-American turned successful entrepreneur (Lopez), who struggles to balance his demanding ex-wife, his 11-year-old son, his overbearing mother (Barraza) who just moved in, and his uncle, as well as his new role teaching history once a week at a night school. Barraza, repped by Innovative and DePaz … Read More »
Carla Gugino (Watchmen, Entourage, Karen Sisco) has been cast inWayward Pines– M. Night Shyamalan‘s event series for Fox. She will play Kate Hewson — former love interests of Matt Dillon‘s Secret Service agent Ethan Burke. Kate is also Ethan’s former partner at the Secret Service and a resident of bucolic Wayward Pines, ID, where Ethan shows up on a job to find two missing federal agents. But, because it’s a Shyamalan project — and because it’s based on Blake Crouch’s novel Pines — we know he doesn’t turn up two agents, just a multitude of questions, and each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the life he knew, and from the husband and father he was, until it looks like he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. On the bright side, he discovers the love he once shared with the capable, loyal, fiery, blunt, and fearless Kate still simmers just below the surface. Wayward Pines is set to debut in the 2014 part of next season. Read More »
The Rise And Fall Of ‘Dallas’ In French Primetime The new reboot of Dallas debuted with three episodes on June 22 on France’s TF1, for an average 3.6M viewers. But the second set of episodes lost about 1M sets of eyeballs, leading the channel to move the rest of the first season out of the first part of primetime and relegating it to 11:15 PM starting July 6. The network has not commented on its plans for future seasons, though it has rights to the second and third for a total of 30 episodes. Per French trade Le Film Français, those seasons could be moved to a TF1 affiliate. The original Dallas was a phenomenon in France, where reruns have aired for years. It even had its own French lyrics to the famous opening theme song. Translated, they go like this: “Dallas, your ruthless world glorifies the law of the fittest; Dallas, under your relentless sun the only thing you fear is death; Dallas, homeland of the dollar and oil…” (Here’s a YouTube video for the curious.)
‘Behind The Candelabra’ To Kick Off Deauville Fest
The Deauville Festival of American Film has set Steven Soderbergh‘s Behind The Candelabra as its opening-night movie. Stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will be on hand as will Soderbergh, who will also deliver a masterclass at the French fest. Producer Gale Anne Hurd will be the subject of a tribute. The festival, which runs a competition for U.S. indies and helps launch the European campaigns of studio pics, runs August 30 to September 8 in Normandy. Read More »
Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Treme) is set to co-star opposite Matt Dillon in M. Night Shyamalan‘s event seriesWayward Pines, which is eyed for a fall 2014 premiere on Fox. Based on Blake Crouch’s novel Pines, the mind-bending thriller centers on Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon) who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. Leo will play Pam, the intense, unpredictable nurse who first takes care of Ethan when he wakes up in the Wayward Pines hospital. But it soon seems Pam may be more interested in harming than healing. Nurse Pam and Ethan grow into deadly rivals, and her role in the town of Wayward Pines proves much deeper than it first appears. Read More »
Fox has greenlighted M. Night Shyamalan‘s event seriesWayward Pines for a 2014 premiere during next season. Matt Dillon has been cast as the lead in the project based on Blake Crouch’s novel Pines. Described as a mind-bending thriller in which nothing is what it seems, it centers on Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Dillon) who arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. Written by Chad Hodge and directed by Shyamalan, Wayward Pines was one of the first two event series projects Fox put in development at the beginning of the year under its new mandate to make a push in that area. Hodge and Shyamalan executive produce with Donald DeLine and Ashwin Rajan for FX Prods. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Here’s the latest trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth, which pairs Will Smith with his son Jaden as a father and son who crash-land on a hostile Earth a thousand years into the future. The Sony/Columbia release has been teased since last year’s Comic-Con, and the trailer posted today reveals a little more than one we saw in December. The movie opens June 7th. What do you think?
Three months after Fox and FX Networks announced the launch of a new FX Prods.-based unit to supply them high-profile limited and miniseries, Fox has announced the first two event drama series it has put in development: Wayward Pines, from M. Night Shyamalan and Chad Hodge and the FX Prods. division; and Blood Brothers, from Bruce C. McKenna, Gary Randall and Tim Bogart’s Boardwalk Entertainment and Fox TV Studios. Fox plans to order at least one event series pilot this year and launch its first long-form series in 2014. “With top-notch auspices and feature-quality production plans, Wayward Pines and Blood Brothers represent exactly the kind of high-impact, 10- to 12-part events we set out to develop when we entered the limited series business,” said Fox chairman Kevin Reilly. “These two series are the first of many big ideas, big names and big talent that you can anticipate will be on our air in the next 12-24 months.” Read More »
After Earth is the latest pairing of Will Smith and his son Jaden, after 2006′s The Pursuit Of Happyness. The sci-fi pic from director M. Night Shyamalan got a Comic-Con push this summer when Sony touted the massive mythology created around the story, about a father and son who crash-land on a hostile Earth 1000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. As the father, a famed general, lies dying, the son must strike out on his own to recover their rescue beacon. Sony’s Columbia Pictures releases the film on June 7, 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: In his first foray into network television, The Sixth Sense writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has teamed with Eagle Eye writer John Glenn for a drama project, which landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment. Titled Lost Horizon, the project hails from Sony Pictures TV and Shyamalan’s Blinding Edge Pictures.
The premise is being kept under wraps but I hear Lost Horizon revolves around a small fishing village on the East Coast. It is being described as a modern-day Moby Dick, dealing with obsession and the unknown, themes that are often reflected in Shyamalan’s movies. Shyamalan is attached to direct the potential pilot, which will be written by Glenn. The duo, brought together by WME, which reps them, will executive produce. At Blinding Edge Pictures, the project is overseen by Ashwin Rajan. Read More »
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
Despite there being no Will or Jaden Smith and no M. Night Shyamalan, Sony’s panel on After Earth was packed to capacity in Room 6A. Without that key talent, attendance likely would have seemed sparse in the larger Hall H usually reserved for event movies. Set 1,000 years after Earth has become uninhabitable and humans live on a world called Nova Prime, the movie deals with a father and son – with dad being one of the best rangers ever – who crash land on the inhospitable future Earth where nature has taken over again. Screenwriter Gary Whitta referred to it as “Jurassic Planet … we were evicted by nature because we were no longer welcome there … every single thing on this planet will kill you.” Air, plants and creatures are all hostile to humans because nature has developed defense mechanisms to keep people from coming back. Jungles, forest (the Redwood forests up north where Return of the Jedi was filmed) and desert are the main environments of the story.
EXCLUSIVE: As Sony Pictures begins to create buzz for the M Night Shyamalan-directed Will and Jaden Smith-starrer After Earth, the studio has also sealed plans to get out in front of the summer 2013 tenpole with a number of other initiatives. Overbrook Entertainment, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, The Random House Publishing Group and Ebury Publishing is set to create a broad line of publishing products based on the film and the universe that was created from the script by Gary Whitta and Shyamalan, based on a story by Will Smith. The film is produced by Caleeb Pinkett, Smith, James Lassiter, and Shyamalan.
EXCLUSIVE: The agency signing wars had been quiet, but they just heated up. WME has signed M. Night Shyamalan. The writer, director and producer has been developing as his next film the Sony Pictures tent pole A.E. which has Will Smith attached to star with his son, Jaden. Shyamalan had been repped by CAA.
The Philadelphia-based filmmaker last directed The Last Airbender and before that The Happening. Shyamalan also generated the genre film Devil through Night Chronicles, the banner he formed to hatch and produce fright fare with Media Rights Capital. Shyamalan spent several years with CAA and before that had been repped by UTA.
In a keynote speech at industry confab ShowCanada, NATO President & CEO John Fithian today urged Canadian movie theater operators to be vigilant in their focus on theatrical release windows. Challenging a recently announced proposal from four Hollywood studios to release movies early to the home on “premium” VOD, Fithian explained the dangers of the model. “Early VOD releases to the home could damage the movie industry in two significant ways,” Fithian asserted. “Early releases will reduce movie ticket sales, and will exacerbate movie theft by giving pirates an early pristine copy of movies.” Fithian also reiterated NATO’s call for the participating studios to release sales data from their experiment. “How can the industry evaluate the studios’ test if they continue to hide the facts.”
Fithian’s remarks at ShowCanada marked an expanded, global phase in NATO’s work to preserve the theatrical release window. Beginning with Canada this week, moving to Europe later in the month and onto Australia in August, Fithian will hold dozens of meetings with leading international exhibitors on the topic. “We hope that this early VOD experiment begins and ends in the U.S.,” Fithian continued. “But if not, we want exhibitors everywhere to be prepared.”
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed Will Smith and son Jaden Smith to star in an untitled futuristic science fiction adventure film that will be directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Shymalan wrote the script with Gary Whitta, and Overbrook’s James Lassiter, Smith, Ken Stovitz and Jada Pinkett Smith will produce with Shyamalan. Shyamalan talked about the project some last fall when he was promoting The Last Airbender, when the project went under the title One Thousand A.E. Back then, Will Smith was only supposed to produce, but now he’s set to star as well. He’s currently starring in a third installment of Men in Black 3, a film that halted production for rewrites and just got started again.
The story takes place far in the future where a young boy has to navigate an abandoned planet on a space ship that has crashed. On board is his estranged father. Will and Jaden starred together in The Pursuit of Happyness at Sony Pictures. CAA repped the deal.
Media Rights Capital and M Night Shyamalan have set the next thriller to be made under their Night Chronicles banner. And once again, Shyamalan won’t be directing. Instead, The Last Exorcism‘s Daniel Stamm will helm Reincarnate, scripted by Chris Sparling (Buried). Production will begin in 2011, and MRC is producing with Shyamalan. This latest is bout a jury haunted by supernatural forces while deciding the fate of an accused murderer. Today’s deal comes on the eve of this weekend’s release of Devil, the first pic from Night Chronicles, formed to generate genre films hatched by Shyamalan which he doesn’t have to helm.