Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox star in Emperor, directed by Peter Webber. Jones plays General Douglas MacArthur in the film that’s set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. It’s based on a screenplay by David Klass and Vera Blasi. Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff are producing. The movie opens March 8th via Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions.
Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.
Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released.
EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are in talks to join Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale in the Marc Forster-directed World War Z for Paramount and Skydance Productions. Forster has also set Julia Levy-Boeken, the French actress who stars in the Israeli series alufa Ha. The film is an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that looks back on a global zombie infestation 10 years after the fact. Fox, who just wrapped a West End stage turn in the Neil LaBute play In a Forest Dark and Deep, is separately slated to play a vicious serial killer opposite Tyler Perry in the Rob Cohen-directed I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment, with production starting in August. Harris just starred in the Asger Leth-directed Man on a Ledge for Summit. Fox is repped by WME and Management 360, Harris by CAA and Levy-Boeken by Weiner Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder. The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.
Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author.
In Book Deals: New Regency Taps Swedish Crime Series ‘Three Seconds’, Struggling CBS Films Makes Stephen King’s ‘Stand’
The book-to-movie business is kicking back into gear. Hoping for another Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, New Regency has just acquired Three Seconds, part of a bestselling Swedish crime novel series by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom. Shine will produce and they will set a writer quickly. In Three Seconds, an ex-con who works undercover for the Stockholm police is charged with breaking the Polish mob’s stranglehold on amphetamine dealing in Sweden prisons. The ex-con gets himself arrested so he can infiltrate the mob in a maximum security prison. Beyond the fact his wife is unaware he’s working undercover, the operative’s challenge is to crack the ring and get out before he’s exposed. The book is the fifth novel in the series, was named Sweden’s top crime novel of 2009. The author team is intriguing, considering one’s a former journalist, the other an ex-criminal.The book was published by Silver Oak. Shine’s Sue Swift brought the book to Regency’s Michelle Kroes to get the deal started and Dan Wilson will oversee for Regency.
In other deals, a film option deal was made for Cutting For Stone, the Abraham Verghese novel optioned by Anonymous Content for its production company.
And Warner Bros and CBS Films will try to turn Stephen King’s celebrated novel The Stand into a feature. Given the spectacularly restrictive budgets that have forced CBS Films to rely on forgettable films like The Back-Up Plan and Extraordinary Measures, it seems likely Warner Bros will have to put up the dough for this to get off the ground. Even then, King’s apocalyptic epic will be very difficult to compress into a feature film, which is why it previously was turned into a 1994 TV miniseries. Each time I write about CBS Films, the question lingers: why did Les Moonves bother to form a feature division in the first place and hire away a capable exec like Amy Baer from Sony only to hobble her by not taking any big swings? Baer has a franchise percolating in Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, which focuses on ruthless government operative Mitch Rapp. It’s a Jack Ryan waiting to happen, but though CBS Films last year had discussions with Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost‘s Matthew Fox for the Rapp role, it still hasn’t happened. A lot has to do with the need to secure a partner. Hey, Les? In the movie business, it’s no guts, no glory. Deadline has heard that a “reconfiguring” is coming to the still struggling movie unit. CBS Films will make more acquisitions to fill the pipeline.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Lead Drama Series Actor race:
BRYAN CRANSTON, BREAKING BAD
Why He Got Nominated: He’s won two years running, and the TV Academy isn’t in the habit of failing to nominate guys who won the year before (except in rare …
Lost is making a stylish exit with 12 Emmy nominations for its sixth and final season, including best drama series, best lead drama actor (Matthew Fox), supporting actors (Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson) as well as writing (Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse) and directing (Jack Bender), both for the much-talked-about series …