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Alcon TV Group Acquires ‘The Expanse’

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 10:59am PDT

Alcon Television Group, the television division of Alcon Entertainment, has acquired rights to the New York Times bestselling series The Expanse. Written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pen name James S.A. Corey, Expanse centers on a high-stakes conspiracy and cover-up of humanity’s first discovery of alien life. Alcon Television President Sharon Hall will executive produce. Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Iron Man, Children Of Men) developed the pitch and will write the pilot for the hourlong drama. They also will executive produce.  Sean Daniel (Graceland, The Mummy) and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company developed the original pitch with Fergus and Ostby and also will executive produce. Alcon will develop the script with Fergus and Ostby internally prior to shopping to networks. Fergus and Ostby are repped by CAA and Mark Gochman.

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Can ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Lasso Youth?

Mike Fleming

Studios usually view Comic-Con as a venue to start momentum on projects that won’t be in theaters for up to a year. This Saturday, DreamWorks and Universal will try to turn the rabid youth demographic at Comic-Con into true believers for Cowboys & Aliens, a week before the picture opens. It’s crucially important to a movie that has a budget pegged by insiders at $163 million (whispers around town are it could be higher) big stars in Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, and the god-fathering  presence of Steven Spielberg and Imagine’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It is also directed by Jon Favreau, whose Iron Man films and past Comic-Con patronage has made him a hero to that crowd.

Despite this pedigree, Cowboys & Aliens has endured a tortured development history involving more than a dozen writers. (Just five writers got screenplay credit after the Writers Guild not surprisingly held an arbitration trying to figure who did what over 14 years.) Now the movie faces even bigger challenges. It’s a mash-up of two genres that usually don’t cross paths, Westerns and science fiction. Word around town is the film has a  cash break participation pool in the 35% range. In the wake of the behemoth opening of  Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, tracking has been soft, there is no 3D conversion to justify higher ticket prices, factors that could put the … Read More »

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Tomb Raider Heroine Lara Croft Gets Movie Makeover From Top Action Writers

Mike Fleming

The Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens writing team of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have been hired by GK Films to script the rebooted Tomb Raider film franchise. They will create a new adventure storyline for archaeologist/adventuress Lara Croft, played in the original Paramount films by Angelina Jolie. GK partners Graham King and Tim Headington are producing.

CAA-repped Fergus and Ostby most recently re-teamed with director Jon Favreau for Cowboys & Aliens, which Universal releases July 29, and their other credits include Children of Men. In March, GK made a deal for the rights with London-based video game company Eidos.

The real obstacle for this reboot is overcoming the fact that the ideal actress for the Lara Croft franchise is the one who played her in the first place. Female-driven action films have proven to be something of a dead zone in most cases. Besides Jolie, few actresses have been successful as action heroes, with Kate Beckinsale doing business in the Underworld series and Milla Jovovich in the Resident Evil films. Beyond getting a strong script and filmmaker, GK’s challenge will be combing the list of up-and-coming actresses to find the next Jolie. Then again, that’s the gambit for The Hunger Games, with Lionsgate and director Gary Ross betting big on Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone star Jennifer Lawrence, who’ll next be seen playing a young Mystique in X-Men: First Class. Who among the younger actress set would make a great Lara … Read More »

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