EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Colonna has joined Mandate Pictures’ untitled Diablo Cody project in a supporting role opposite Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter, and Russell Brand. The film from writer-director Diablo Cody centers on a young evangelical woman (Hough) who denounces God after a plane crash that has burned one-third of her body. She leaves her parents and church in Washington, D.C. for Las Vegas, where she attempts to re-discover herself. Colonna is currently shooting the independent comedy Old Days for director Michael Rosenbaum. She also is a writer and regular panelist on E!’s Chelsea Lately and a producer and series regular on its late-night spinoff After Lately. Colonna is repped by APA, New Wave Entertainment and Jeff Cohen of Cohen Gardner.
EXCLUSIVE: Mandate Pictures has optioned The Young, The Hot, And The Bothered, a script by Leah Rachel that is described as a coming-of-age comedy about the delusion, desperation, and absolute euphoria of first loves. Dan Jinks will produce and Mandate president Nathan Kahane will be executive producer. Anonymous Content’s Adam Kossack and Adam Shulman will co-produce. Jinks called the 25-year-old Rachel “the freshest and funniest writer I’ve come across in some time. Her script has the potential to become a touchstone movie for a generation.” Mandate’s Nicole Brown is supervising.
Rachel has been setting up projects left and right. Starf*cker, in the works at HBO with Boardwalk Empire’s Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg exec producing, is about a group of female friends establishing careers and finding romance in Los Angeles. She’s also scripting BAMFS, a pilot for ABC that has Jamie Tarses and Julia Franz exec producing. Rachel’s adaptation of the book Here Lies Bridget at Galgos Entertainment just landed Kat Coiro as director. Rachel’s repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
EXCLUSIVE: Holly Hunter has been set by Mandate Pictures to star in the untitled comedy that will mark the directing debut of Young Adult and Juno scribe Diablo Cody. Hunter joins Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and The Help‘s Octavia Spencer. The comedy follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and heads to Vegas to experience the wild side of life. Hunter will play her conservative and overprotective mother. Mason Novick is producing and Mandate president Nathan Kahane is exec producing with Cody. Production starts next spring with Lionsgate handling international sales.
Since ending her run on the TNT series Saving Grace, Hunter has wrapped the Walden Media drama Won’t Back Down, and she just finished playing the title character in the Antoinette Beumer-directed indie Jackie. She’ll reunite with The Piano helmer Jane Campion next year on the BBC/Sundance Channel miniseries Top Of The Lake. Hunter’s repped by ICM and Management 360.
BREAKING; Mandate Pictures and Rough House Pictures have set commercials director Randy Krallman to make his feature directorial debut on Bullies, the comedy hatched by Danny McBride and written by Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul. The plot revolves around wo brothers who have been bullies all their lives and get their comeuppance. McBride is expected to star. Rough House principals McBride, David Gordon Green, Jody Hill and Matt Reilly are producing, while Mandate’s Nathan Kahane is exec producer. McBride’s repped by CAA and Management 360.
Jon Turteltaub is in negotiations to direct CBS Films and Mandate Pictures’ comedy Last Vegas, which revolves around four best friends in their late 60s who decide to escape retirement and throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who stayed single. Dan Fogelman wrote the script; the project will be produced by Larry Mark and Mandate, with Mandate president Nathan Kahane executive producing. Maria Faillace and Alex Ginno are overseeing for CBS Films, and Nicole Brown is overseeing for Mandate. Turteltaub, repped by WME and Oasis Media Group, directed the National Treasure movies and most recently helmed The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
BREAKING: Josh Brolin was rumored to be on the short list to star in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the cult 2003 Korean revenge thriller from Park Chan-wook. Now it’s official: Brolin will topline the Mandate Pictures redo, which begins production in March. Brolin, who just wrapped Men in Black 3 with Will Smith, next begins work on Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. It looks like he’ll squeeze in Oldboy before shooting Jason Reitman’s Labor Day opposite Kate Winslet; that movie is set to begin production in June.
The new Oldboy has script adapted by Mark Protosevich, who will co-produce. Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce via Vertigo Entertainment with Lee’s 40 Acres & A Mule. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Originally, DreamWorks was looking to pick up remake rights in 2008, with the idea that Steven Spielberg would direct Smith. The story centers on a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held for 15 years in solitary confinement without explanation. He is eventually released and sets out on a path to take revenge on those who destroyed his life.
Mandate Pictures just announced that Spike Lee will direct Oldboy, a remake of the cult 2003 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Mark Protosevich has adapted the screenplay and will co-produce; Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce via Vertigo Entertainment with Lee’s 40 Acres & A Mule. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Lee and Protosevich are repped by CAA. Dan Freedman, SVP business affairs, negotiated the deals for Mandate. This is the project that Steven Spielberg and Will Smith were looking to collaborate on back in 2008, with DreamWorks seeking the remake rights at the time. The film originally was set up at Universal before Mandate took over. The story centers on a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held for 15 years in solitary confinement without explanation. He is eventually released and sets out on a path to take revenge on those who destroyed his life.
Mandate Pictures is moving fast on the feature comedy Jamaica, which will reunite the studio with the team behind the comedic drama 50/50, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick and is due out in September. Like that movie, Will Reiser is writing the screenplay based on his real-life experiences, Jonathan Levine is directing, and Rogen and Evan Goldberg are producing through their Point Grey Pictures. Plot details are thin on Jamaica, but it is loosely based on a vacation Reiser took to the island nation with his grandmother when he was 14 (“This is a story that I’ve long wanted to tell. It’s something of a passion project for me,” he said in the press release announcing the deal). Reiser, Point Grey’s James Weaver and Mandate’s Nathan Kahane and Nicole Brown are executive producing. “Will is an exceptional writer with so many amusing life experiences to pull from, and he has a unique instinct to bring out tender moments in comical situations,” Kahane said.
Rogen, Goldberg and Reiser are repped by UTA; Levine is repped by CAA and managed by Ragna Nervik. Reiser is managed by Thruline Entertainment, and Rogen is managed by Principal Entertainment. Dan Freedman, Mandate’s SVP Business Affairs, negotiated the deals for the company.
Mandate Pictures has acquired Lamb of God, a script by Juno scribe Diablo Cody that will mark her feature directorial debut. Mason Novick (500 Days Of Summer) will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside Cody. Mandate has the project on the fast track and will begin casting right away. The comedy follows a young conservative religious woman who loses her faith after a plane crash. She decides to go to Vegas and live the life of a sinner, and somehow finds her faith along the way. Cody was a stripper who started a blog and found a voice as a screenwriter, which led to her breakout effort in writing Juno and emerging as a quite interesting screenwriting voice. She followed with Jennifer’s Body, a movie that didn’t hit, and most recently reteamed with Juno helmer Jason Reitman on Young Adult.
EXCLUSIVE: Phil Claydon has been hired by Mandate Pictures to direct Miserable Excuse For A Hero, the D.V. De Vincentis-scripted adaptation of Bob Powers’ comic novel You Are A Miserable Excuse For A Hero. In the book, a 30-year-old part-time actor/full-time waiter goes on a date with a girl he kind of likes. The next day, he’s awakened by a phone call from kidnappers who tell him they have his girlfriend, and will kill her if he doesn’t come up with $50,000 in ransom. Considering he barely knows the girl, he’s conflicted. Mark Gordon and Jennifer Todd are producing. Claydon directed Lesbian Vampire Killers and is working on Dan Mintner: Badass For Hire.
EXCLUSIVE: The majority of deal buzz at the Cannes Film Festival market is where the Megan Ellison-financed Wettest County in the World will be dealt for distribution, I’m told the next big deal to come together will be a Sony Pictures acquisition of Great Hope Springs, the David Frankel-directed Meryl Streep comedy from Mandate Pictures. I’ll have to get back to you on whether the studio bought more than domestic distribution rights, [UPDATE: I've heard in the neighborhood of $20 million for North American rights] but it’s being made in Hollywood and I’m told it dwarfs any deal that’ll be made here in Cannes. It’s a film Amy Pascal really wanted on her release schedule.
Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play one half of the troubled couple and Steve Carell plays the marriage therapist who tries to help rekindle their loveless relationship after 31 years of marriage. It’s their last shot before divorce. Vanessa Taylor wrote the script. Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Film 360′s Guymon Casady are producing. Shooting starts in August.
It is the second deal in recent days for a Meryl Streep film, after The Weinstein Company won a bidding battle Friday for Pathe’s The Iron Lady, shortly after buyers were shown five minutes of the film. Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher and Harvey Weinstein intends …
EXCLUSIVE: In what shapes up as his first feature project after leaving The Office, Steve Carell will star in Seeking A Friend For The End of The World. The film marks the directorial debut of its screenwriter, Lorene Scafaria. Keira Knightley is in negotiations for the female lead. Mandate Pictures and Indian Paintbrush will co-finance and production begins in May. The film takes place at a time when mankind is forced to absorb the fact that an incoming asteroid will end humanity. Carell plays a man suddenly alone when his wife leaves in a panic. His high school sweetheart writes him saying she wants to be with him when the world stops. His neighbor (Knightley) accompanies him on the road trip as love blooms at the worst possible time. Despite the doomsday climax, the film has a somewhat comic and romantic tone.
Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Joy Gorman will produce with Steven Rales and Mark Roybal from Indian Paintbrush. Mandate’s Nathan Kahane and Nicole Brown will be exec producers. It is the second collaboration between Mandate and Indian Paintbrush: they recently wrapped the Jason Reitman-directed Young Adult, which was scripted by Diablo Cody and stars Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt. Paramount will release the film.
I’m told that Tommy Lee Jones has surfaced as the front-runner to play Meryl Streep’s husband in the David Frankel-directed Great Hope Springs. Mandate Pictures recently set Streep as one half of the troubled couple and Steve Carell to play the marriage therapist who tries to help rekindle their loveless relationship after 31 years of marriage. It’s their last shot before divorce. Vanessa Taylor wrote the script. Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Film 360′s Guymon Casady are producing. Shooting starts in August.
Los Angeles (February 22, 2011) – Steve Carell is attached to star in Mandate Pictures’ DOGS OF BABEL. Writer Jamie Linden (Ten Year, Dear John, We Are Marshall) adapted the best-selling novel for the big screen. David Heyman of Heyday Films, Corey May and Dooma Wendschuh of sekretagent Productions, and Steve Carell of Carousel Productions will produce. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock who work with Carell at Carousel will co-produce. New president of Heyday Films Jeffrey Clifford will be running the project for Heyday and Nicole Brown will oversee the project on behalf of Mandate. Plans are to engage a director right away. Lionsgate International is handling international sales on this title.
Carolyn Parkhurst’s novel, The Dogs of Babel, is a tragic yet beautiful story of love and loss. The story follows Paul Iverson, a linguistics professor, who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Police rule her death an accident, but Paul is not quite sure. The only witness to her death is their dog Lorelei. In Paul’s grief-stricken search for answers, he endeavors to teach Lorelei to talk in the hopes that he can uncover what happened the day his wife died.
Kahane shares, “DOGS OF BABEL is a passion project for the producers and our company. We have really taken our time to find the right hero for this story. Not only did we get the
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell has begun negotiating to star with Meryl Streep in the David Frankel-directed Great Hope Springs, I’m told. Mandate Pictures is in talks with Carell to play Dr. Feld, a marriage therapist who tries to help a couple rekindle their loveless relationship after 31 years of marriage. Streep plays the wife and Frankel will soon set an actor to play her husband. Vanessa Taylor wrote the script and Steep officially signed on to re-team with The Devil Wears Prada director Frankel earlier this month. Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Film 360′s Guymon Casady are producing. Shooting starts August.
It’s an intriguing role for Carell as he transitions to full time movie acting after leaving the long-running NBC series The Office. Carell’s run ends with the help of pal Will Ferrell, who signed on to play a branch manager over a four-episode arc that will end one episode after Carell’s Michael Scott exits. Carell will do Great Hope Springs next, followed by Burt Wonderstone for New Line. Carell will next be seen starring with Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid Love. Dan Fogelman wrote the script and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa directed it, with Warner Bros releasing it July 29. WME and Media Four rep Carell.
Meryl Streep is in final negotiations to star in Great Hope Springs, reuniting with The Devil Wears Prada helmer David Frankel-directed comedy for Mandate Pictures. Streep has been expected since last summer to star in the Vanessa Taylor-scripted comedy about a couple that hits the rocks after 30 years of marriage. They hang their future on an intense counseling weekend. Back when Mike Nichols was eyeing the project, there were rumors that Jeff Bridges might play her mate, but they were unfounded. Mandate is still looking for her mate which shouldn’t be difficult. Who wouldn’t want to play married to Streep, even an unhappy marriage?
SANTA MONICA, CA, October 28, 2010 – Lionsgate today announced that it has acquired from Mandate Pictures the U.S. distribution rights to LOL, a coming-of-age comedy starring Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, and Ashley Greene. Lisa Azuelos writes and directs the film, an American version of her 2008 French box office hit Laughing Out Loud. The producers are Academy Award® nominees Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher of Double Feature Films and Tish Cyrus. Executive producers are Mandate President Nathan Kahane, Lisa Azuelos, Romain Le Grand and Jerome Seydoux, with Double Feature Films’ Taylor Latham, Mandate’s Nicole Brown and Kelli Konop, and Jim Powers co-producing. Mandate Pictures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lionsgate, operates as an independent brand. LOL marks the first collaboration between the two companies.
UPDATE: Mandate Pictures has won the auction for The Day of the Triffids. The film will be produced by Ghost House, the partnership between Mandate, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. The deal is seven-figures and I’ve heard it’s the most that Mandate has paid for a project package. Raimi wants to direct it; the original was one of his favorite films as a boy. Raimi and Tapert will board the producer roster, joining Michael Preger, Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford, and Mark Gordon, who previously worked with Raimi on A Simple Plan.
EXCLUSIVE: Suitors are bidding on a rights package to do a new version of The Day of the Triffids. I’m told that Warner Bros bidding for David Yates, who graduated from directing the British miniseries State of Play to do the final four Harry Potter films. Among the other bidders is Mandate Pictures, on behalf of Sam Raimi. The deal will be in the seven-figures when the dust clears, and it was wrapped up by Mandate’s Nathan Kahane.
Lionsgate Reports Net Q1 Loss Of $64M; Blames Underperformance Of ‘The Killers’; Spent $30.6 Million Fighting Off Carl Icahn
Earnings season has produced better-than-expected results at the major studios and networks with only Disney left to report tomorrow. (Watch for Deadline’s full summary.) But Lionsgate just reported bad news when Carl Icahn is breathing down its neck for that hostile takeover attempt. The mini-major today reported revenue of $326.6 million and adjusted EBITDA of negative $13.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011 compared to positive $53.4 million for the prior year first quarter. Net loss was $64.1 million in the quarter compared to net income of $36.3 million in the prior year’s first quarter.
The loss was attributable primarily to an increase of $71.2 million in theatrical marketing costs as the Company distributed three wide releases in the quarter compared to one wide release in the prior year’s first quarter. Revenue declined 14% compared to the prior year’s first quarter due primarily to the deconsolidation of TV Guide Network revenue, the timing of television deliveries, the decline in Mandate Pictures revenue compared to a record quarter last year, as well as a decline in home entertainment revenue attributable to the smaller theatrical slate in fiscal 2010. Basic net loss per common share for the quarter was $0.54 compared to basic net income of $0.31 in the prior year’s first quarter.
“Our first quarter was affected by marketing costs for our three wide releases, timing of television deliveries and the underperformance of our theatrical release KILLERS,” said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive …