Just in time for the All-Star break, when America’s Pastime tries to snatch back some of the spotlight from the World Cup, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton has teamed up with Mandalay Sports Media’s Mike Tollin and Peter Guber to option the Ben Bradlee Jr book The Kid: The Immortal Life Of Ted Williams. They will turn the complex life of baseball’s most prolific hitter into a miniseries they will shop once they hire a writer. Canton, Tollin and Guber will be exec producers, and David Hopwood will be a producer. Guber became an owner of the L.A. Dodgers only to watch that team’s iconic player, Jackie Robinson, get movie treatment from Legendary Pictures (and Pittsburgh Steelers part owner) Thomas Tull. Here, Guber gets another shot with a player with almost as rich a story as Robinson.
Williams is one of those larger-than-life when-men-were-men characters — Frank Sinatra in a baseball uniform. His baseball exploits were legend, and he was a hero on the battlefield as well as the ball field, twice interrupting the prime years of his baseball career to serve as a flight instructor in WWII and a fighter pilot in the Korean War. He also was an ornery, enigmatic man who had a love-hate relationship with Boston Red Sox fans and media, along with several wives, who quickly learned they were third in importance to him after baseball and fishing. He had a long rivalry with the Yankees and its star outfielder Joe DiMaggio, whose team won a bundle of World Series titles while the Red Sox were always the bridesmaids.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off 300: Rise Of An Empire, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton is next teaming with Graphic India to develop a live-action feature based on The Sadhu. He will produce with Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra, whose Graphic India is a character-based company focused on creating superheroes, comics and stories through mobile and digital platforms. The Sadhu is one of those superhero properties. Devarajan and Chopra also co-wrote the screenplay based on Warrior: Revenge Of The Sadhu, a new mobile comic series on the character to be launched later this year across India.
The story centers on James Jenson, a British soldier whose family is brutally murdered by a corrupt superior officer in the Indian colony of Bengal in 1858. Jenson escapes in the remote forests of India, where he seeks refuge with the mysterious Indian mystics known as sadhus. After years of being trained in their supernatural arts, Jenson must decide whether to use his newfound powers for inner peace and enlightenment, or vengeance. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Starz has entered into a first-look deal with feature producer Mark Canton (300 franchise). Under the pact, Canton will focus on developing and producing original programming for the pay cable network. Canton is already in business with Starz, serving as an executive producer on the upcoming eight-episode drama series, Power. Created by Courtney Kemp-Agboh, exec produced by Kemp-Agboh, Canton, Curtis “50” Cent Jackson, Randall Emmett and David Knoller and co-produced by CBS TV Studios, Power tells the story of a wealthy New York City nightclub owner living a double life as the drug kingpin. “Mark’s success making breakthrough entertainment is singular, and we look forward to our partnership,” Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik said. With its striking visual style, the Canton-produced 300 has influenced a slew of other productions, including Starz’s hit series Spartacus. “Chris Albrecht and his team at Starz have given me the opportunity to jump head first into the episodic television arena, with a mandate to bring exciting, powerful audience-pleasing programming to the network,” Canton said. “I appreciate their confidence in me, and am looking forward to a long and successful relationship with them in the years ahead.” Canton, repped by attorneys Jacob Bloom and Leigh Brecheen, will work on projects for Starz with David Hopwood, SVP at Canton’s Atmosphere Entertainment.
Dimension Films has released a Red Band trailer for Piranha 3DD, the sequel to the silly 2010 film that was pointedly trashed by James Cameron when he was discussing the future potential of 3D films. That drew an aggressive response from the film’s producer Mark Canton, who reminded that Cameron directed Piranha 2 for Roger Corman early in his career and got fired. Based on what I’ve observed below in this new trailer, I can’t imagine that Cameron will be a fan of the sequel or that Canton will be defending it that hard. It looks like Girls Gone Wild with murderous prehistoric piranha, and David Hasselhoff. Here’s a little red meat in the water for Deadline’s comments section.
A war of words broke out today between Avatar director James Cameron and producer Mark Canton over whether Weinstein Co/Dimension’s current version of Piranha 3D is a crapfest. (Cameron was hired and then fired as the director of the original 1981 Piranha Part 2). Here’s what they are saying:
Cameron told VanityFair.com while publicizing his Avatar re-release: “I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but [Piranha 3D] is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3D horror films from the ’70s and ’80s, like Friday The 13th 3D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s now what’s happening now with 3D. It is a renaissance. Right now the biggest and best films are being made in 3D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3D [Hugo Cabret]. Disney’s biggest film of the year – Tron: Legacy — is coming out in 3D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.”
Canton issued this rebuttal via Dimension’s PR department: “As a producer in the entertainment industry, Jim Cameron’s comments on VanityFair.com are very disappointing to me and the team that made Piranha 3D. Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own. It is amazing that in the movie-making process – which is certainly a team sport – that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one. His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric.
Jim, are you kidding or what? First of all, let’s start by you accepting the fact that you were the original director of Piranha 2 and you were fired. Shame on you for thinking that genre movies and the real maestros like Roger Corman and his collaborators are any less auteur or impactful in the history of cinema than you. Martin Scorcese made Boxcar Bertha at the beginning of his career. And Francis Ford Coppola made Dimentia 13 back in 1963. And those are just a few examples of the talented and successful filmmakers whose roots are in genre films. Who are you to impugn any genre film or its creators?
Dimension Films has put toothy fish back on the menu. Inexplicably, a sequel’s coming for Piranha 3D, after it only grossed $10 million opening weekend. The Alexandre Aja-directed film was produced by Mark Canton. Whoever didn’t end up eaten is eligible to reprise.
Actually, Canton said that even those actors turned into chum are asking to take a mulligan and get in the sequel. “We had such a good time that even those cast members who ended up dead want to be in the sequel,” he told Deadline. “We’ll have to figure out how that could work. For us, the way the film held up and then opened strong in England showed that there is room for a real 3D popcorn picture. There’s a fan base that’s growing and it is establishing itself as a fun movie where people are laughing and having fun.” Canton said they are working out who among the creative team will return and it sounded like it’s Aja’s sequel to direct if he wants it.