Some Hollywood players were having a good time and a few fine stogies last night in Beverly Hills. UTA’s Charlie Ferraro and DreamWorks’ Mark Sourian were among a gang out at the Grand Havana Room on Thursday. Also spotted hanging out with Ferraro and Sourian at the members only club on Canon Drive were Summit Senior VP of Production Geoff Shaevitz, producers Andrew Lazar, Chris Fenton and Beau Flynn, ICM’s Emile Gladstone, and Mayhem Pictures’ Mark Ciardi and Gordon Grey. Though they undoubtedly talk some shop, I’m told this is no smoky star chamber. The gathering is just a semi-regular get-together among friends over cigars, with Ferraro as the ringleader. American Gangster producer Jim Whitaker, Disruption’s Cale Boyter, UTA’s Steve Rabineau, Battleship producer Scott Stuber, Steve Jobs biopic producer Guymon Casady, actor Keith Ewell and Transformers executive producer Mark Vahradian were also there last night too. Though they were nowhere to be seen last night, Disney’s Sean Bailey and Twilight Saga producer Marty Bowen have joined the gathering in the past I’ve heard.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media is in talks with Lasse Hallstrom to direct its adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel Safe Haven. I’m told that a deal will likely happen quickly. It’s not surprising that Ryan Kavanaugh would turn to Hallstrom to helm the adaptation of a book that Relativity paid around $2 million against $5 million to acquire in a heated auction last summer. Hallstrom directed the adaptation of the Sparks novel Dear John, a film that Kavanaugh financed.
The move also re-teams Hallstrom with Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who produced Dear John, a film that was well received and grossed $110 million worldwide with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried starring. Relativity Media acquired Safe Haven with a ticking clock — basically a nine-month window to develop the script, or the book would go back to Sparks and he’d keep the upfront payment. They got Dana Stevens to write a script, and they certainly met the deadline, as they are already looking at cast for a fall start date. Bowen and Godfrey are producing and so is Kavanaugh. In Safe Haven, a young North Carolina woman is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships. As she begins to fall in love, she struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her.
EXCLUSIVE: In their second major deal of the Toronto International Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have teamed to acquire Everything Must Go, the Dan Rush-directed drama that stars Will Ferrell. I’m told the deal was north of a $3 million minimum guarantee. I’ve heard that dealmakers at ICM and CAA had about 5 offers, but finally closed with Lionsgate and Roadside. This is the latest in a spectacular flurry of 11th hour acquisition deals at Toronto heading into the fest’s final weekend.