Related: TOLDJA! Paramount Sets Date For ‘Monster Trucks’ & ‘SpongeBob’ Movies
EXCLUSIVE: Who hasn’t seen boys big and small intently watching monster trucks do their stuff? I’ve learned that there’s a combination live action/computer animation feature about them which is Adam Goodman‘s priority project for Paramount Animation right now. And he’s kicking off the toon division’s second project by going after one of Blue Sky Studios’ biggest names. Based on an original idea and planned for Summer 2015, Monster Trucks could hopefully become a Transformers-like franchise the way Paramount sees it. So my sources say the studio is in final negotiations with Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots, Epic) to direct the planned $100M budget film which should start production in the first half of 2014. Mary Parent is producing, and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger writing. Those scribes also scripted DWA’s Kung Fu Panda and Paramount Animation’s first project, the untitled SpongeBob SquarePants, which Parent also is producing as well as Noah for big Paramount.
Wedge is the multi-hyphenate producer, helmer, and voice actor is best known as a co-founder of Blue Sky Studios and for directing that company’s first computer animated film, 2002′s Ice Age. Not only did he voiced Scrat in the film and its following sequels which he … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is buying Agatha, spec screenplay written by Allison Schroeder which has Will Gluck attached to direct. Disruption Entertainment’s Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are producing with Benderspink’s Chris Bender, Jake Weiner, and JC Spink.
Spec is an action adventure which surmises what really happened to Agatha Christie during the 11 days she went missing. Plot specifics are being kept under wraps but tonally it is described as a female Sherlock Holmes meets Romancing The Stone. Schroeder previously wrote a Mean Girls sequel and was a writer for CW’s Beverly Hills 90210. Will Gluck is currently rewriting Annie to direct for Sony. Both Gluck and Schroeder are repped by UTA and Schroeder is also repped by Benderspink and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
Benderspink just produced The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Hangover Part III, We’re The Millers and Ride Along. Par’s David Beaubaire brought in the spec.
Warner Bros has acquired screen rights to the William Landay suspense novel Defending Jacob for Mary Parent to produce through her Disruption banner. The novel involves a district attorney in Boston whose son is accused of killing a classmate. As he tries to clear his boy, the DA discovers many things about his son that he didn’t know, including the possibility the 14-year old might actually have done it. Alice Martell of The Martell Agency and Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss and Associated brokered the deal.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the Colleen Houck novel Tiger’s Curse. Mary Parent will produce through her Disruption Entertainment banner with Raphael Kryszek. The novel is about a 17-year-old girl who takes a temp job caring for a white tiger at the local circus and sets off on an epic adventure when she discovers the tiger is a cursed Indian prince who turns into a man for only 24 minutes per day. Their quest to end the curse leads them through exotic locales in India and brushes with Hindu gods and goddesses. Houck originally self-published the title on Kindle Books; after it reached No. 1 on the bestseller fiction list, the book was published by Splinter and is currently near the top of the New York Times Children’s list. The book has been translated into 15 languages.
EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter John Glenn has been brought on to re-imagine Abducted, a science fiction thriller that was originally acquired by the studio as a spec by John Heffernan. Disruption Entertainment’s Mary Parent and Cale Boyter will produce. JC Spink, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner are exec producers. The story centers around an alien abduction of a group of average Americans who decide to take on the aliens and battle their way off the extraterrestrial craft. Glenn, who did early drafts of Clash of the Titans and Eagle Eye, is writing the hour-long Treasure Island for NBC. That is a contemporary re-imagining of the Robert Louis Stevenson story, set in Gotham. Glenn’s repped by WME and managed by Brian Lutz.
In her first producing effort since leaving as chairman of the MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group, Mary Parent has come aboard as producer of Pacific Rim, Legendary Pictures’ big-budget action film that Guillermo del Toro will begin shooting in November. Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and Idris Elba star. Parent joins Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashini as producer, with del Toro also producing. Parent has been prepping the film for the past month. After exiting MGM, she started Disruption Entertainment and made a first-look deal at Paramount., But Legendary has plenty of movies prepping and they needed an experienced hand on the ground on location in Toronto. Parent’s Disruption execs, Cale Boyter and Luke Ryan, continue to develop projects, but Parent had the time and lends an experienced hand to a tent pole pic.
UPDATE: I received a more detailed logline, which is below original story break.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Paramount Pictures has acquired The Mighty, a graphic novel published by DC Comics. Mary Parent’s Paramount-based Disruption Entertainment will produce. Parent and Cale Boyter will produce with Benderspink’s JC Spink. While DC product usually goes through Warner Bros, this one had rights that were controlled by the creators, Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne. The artist is Peter Snejberg. In The Mighty, they’ve come up with a nifty take on the superhero genre. The protagonist is mortal, a tough cop. He hunts a villain who is the superhero and must overcome the obvious disadvantages of going up against someone with superpowers. It’s too early to get confirmation from the studio, but I’ll add more when I have it.
Updated logline: The Mighty tells the story of Alpha-One, the world’s most powerful super-being, who has always been a force for good, but Gabriel Cole, a cop who’s life was saved by Alpha One as a child, has uncovered his hero’s dark plan that will put them on a collision course of an ordinary man versus a super-man. Tomasi currently writes the DC Comics for Batman And Robin, Green Lantern Corps, and co-writes Brightest Day with Geoff Johns. Tomasi has also written the creator-owned comic The Light Brigade, and Champagne is the author of the creator-owned comic Armor-X.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that New Line closed a deal Friday night for The Watching Hour, a horror film written by Carey and Shane Van Dyke that will be produced by Mary Parent and Michael Connolly of Mad Hatter Entertainment. The spec’s described as a home invasion film, only with aliens. Still trying to get confirmation, but I’ve heard the writers are the grandsons of the great comic actor Dick Van Dyke. Paradigm brokered the deal.
BREAKING NEWS… UPDATE: She has signed a non-disclosure agreement and therefore can’t talk publicly to the media. But, making no secret that she was negotiating her exit from MGM after taking the job in April 2008, Mary Parent this afternoon is now officially out at the studio where she was Chairman of the Motion Picture Group and Co-CEO. It’s a sad ending to Parent’s struggle to revive the debt-ridden cash-strapped studio and get it producing and distributing movies again against huge odds. That she was able to accomplish anything at all, even a few releases and co-productions, is testament to her professionalism and personality. Hollywood needs to salute her.
Parent and her staff, meanwhile, has had to go into the Century City offices every day for months and basically do nothing. “A really good group of people came in here to sit on the bench in their prime. What wasted capabilities and wasted potential,” she has told pals. In private conversations with Hollywood, she called it “a perfect storm against us” of events that sank her management team. She’ll probably catch her breath before thinking about another job. (The offers are just coming in now.) In the end, she like everybody else puts all the responsibility for the studio’s demise on Harry Sloan and his inability to tell the truth. ”In a weird way, it’s like coming off a bad relationship,” she told a friend Friday. “I married the wrong guy and woke up pregnant.” (see below for more) Read More »
Where in heck is all the money supposedly coming from to fund this beleaguered studio’s “renewed” movie slate? No one seems to know. Nevertheless, MGM announced today that it has named Cale Boyter as executive VP of production. He’s billed as MGM’s new mogul Mary Parent’s first senior hire. (See my previous, Desperate MGM Studios Throws Hail Mary.) A veteran at New Line for the last 10 years, Boyter recently served as New Line’s executive VP of development.
One day after Mary Parent’s appointment, Hollywood wants to know where all this money is coming from to revitalize the studio. The town is starting to wonder if maybe Harry Sloan is using Parent as bait to attract big bucks. Meanwhile, ousted New Line marketing dude Russell Schwartz is coming to MGM but only to consult/help on the marketing campaign for Tom Cruise’s Nazi pic Valkyrie.
Desperate MGM Studios Throws Hail Mary
Russell Schwartz Fired From New Line