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.
Deadline’s readers have been split from the beginning about the casting of Summit Entertainment’s Alex Cross, based on the James Patterson detective novels. It certainly is a jolt to see Tyler Perry and even Lost‘s Matthew Fox in dramatic-action tough-guy modes in this trailer, so it will be interesting to see whether audiences get past it when the whole film is released October 19.
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 In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn.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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that Skip Woods has rewritten, Schwarzenegger will play a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest. The tone is Man On Fire meets High Plains Drifter. Block will be selling worldwide territories starting today.
Woods scripted A Good Day To Die Hard, which Fox is readying for production. Waugh and McCoy most recently directed Act Of Valor, an action adventure that features actual Navy SEALs. That film was acquired at an auction for distribution by Relativity Media, which paid a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment, and scheduled the film for release on February 17, which is President’s Day Weekend.
Al Ruddy will produce Black Sands with Block and Paul Hanson. Waugh, McCoy and Max Leitman are the executive producers through their Bandito Brothers banner. Sergio Altieri and Kevin Elders wrote early drafts of the script that Woods is rewriting. scSchwarzenegger has squarely returned to his action wheelhouse since returning to acting after ending his run as California governor. He’s shooting the Kim Jee-woon-directed The Last Stand for Lionsgate, after completing The Expendables 2.
QED just completed I, Alex Cross, the Rob Cohen-directed thriller based on the James Patterson novel, with … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Productions has set Rob Cohen to direct Bullet Run, an Andrew Hilton-scripted action film that puts Cohen back on the fast car track he was on when he helmed The Fast & The Furious. Voltage Productions producers Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores acquired the script as a spec and brought on Cohen. The intention is for him to direct after he completes the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the James Patterson novel I, Alex Cross, which will star Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox.
The head of an elite private protection team and his former CIA agent wife infiltrate the closed borders of Iran to abduct a man who killed their daughter. The extraction goes awry and they force to rely on their world-class driving skills and a fleet of high-performance street cars to travel 200 miles through a hail of bullets to keep alive the man they really want dead. Zev Foreman is exec producer.
“Bullet Run can be a unique and genre-bending action film with huge international appeal,” Cohen said. Hilton scripted The Lost Patrol, which is set up at Legendary Pictures for Steven Norrington to direct. Cohen’s repped by WME, Hilton by Nethercott Agency. Chartier will sell offshore territories, and they haven’t yet made a domestic distribution deal.
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has redrawn its plans to launch a film franchise based on the Vince Flynn novel series about CIA agent and Mitch Rapp. Ed Zwick has come aboard to direct an adaptation of American Assassin, a bestseller published last fall by Atria. Though it was the 11th book in the Rapp series, American Assassin was a prequel that told the story of how, as a college scholar and athlete, tragedy forged Rapp’s path to become a ruthless hunter of terrorists for the CIA.
CBS Films, which first acquired the rights to Flynn’s popular book series in 2008, originally intended to start with Consent to Kill, an action-packed thriller that contains several twists that change Rapp’s life permanently. CBS Films got as far as attaching Antoine Fuqua to direct and courting Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Lost’s Matthew Fox to play Rapp.
Instead, Flynn’s prequel novel provided a way to start the series at the very beginning of Rapp’s covert career. That means they will tap the strong crop of young leading men, much the way that Paramount Pictures signed Chris Pine to re-launch its Jack Ryan series. Consent to Kill will come later.
Zwick is writing the script with partner Marshall Herskovitz, and they will join Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler as producers. Zwick last directed Love and Other Drugs, and Defiance and Blood Diamond before that.
“We were prepping Consent to Kill when Vince told us he was going … Read More »
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry starring and Rob Cohen directing. Ed Burns has also signed on to play Tommy Kane, Cross’s partner. At least three studios are vying for the project and a domestic distribution deal will be set imminently.
Contrary to his virtuous Lost character Jack Shepard, Fox will be playing one bad dude in this film. Fox plays Michael Sullivan, who kills both for money and thrills. He’s known as the Butcher of Sligo and shows why after Cross thwarts one of his killing attempts. Sullivan makes his retribution personal, by killing the detective’s wife in gruesome fashion. Then it becomes a mano a mano battle between them. Sullivan is one of the best known villains in the Patterson-penned novel series.
Marc Moss wrote the script and he and Cohen have generated a new draft that has some twists different from the novel. QED partners Bill Block and Paul Hanson are producing. WME put the package together.
The reboot of the Alex Cross series took root in late January, with Perry taking the role originated by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came … Read More »
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. Read More »
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 instances). Plus, if anything, Cranston just enjoyed his best season onscreen.
Why He Has To Win: The episode Cranston submitted to voters, “Full Measure”, was the season-ending cliffhanger that shows his character continuing a mindbending personality transformation. Voters like it that kind of risk, particularly when the judges are teams of acting contemporaries. Believes one of those voters: “This man isn’t merely acting. He’s creating art.” Also his performance is fresh in voters minds, since the show’s season finished in June.
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: The AMC show’s ratings are still comparatively miniscule, which could hurt Cranston’s bid to three-peat. There’s also tough competition from Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall for their own breakthrough seasons.
JON HAMM, MAD MEN
Why He Got Nominated: No one in the Industry can overlook AMC’s Mad Men or Jon Hamm come Emmy-time. Plus, the actor has shown his range with guest appearances on 30 Rock and SNL. Now more than ever, the TV Academy knows he’s the real deal.
Why He Has To Win: After two earlier years as the heavy favorite, he’s not this year. That means a win would be unexpected, which is the TV Academy’s way of showing he was overdue. Plus, Hamm’s submitted episode “The Gypsy and the Hobo” is a whopper … Read More »
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 finale. Here is what executive producers/showrunners Lindelof and Cuse had to say today:
Lindelof: The happiest surprise was Matthew Fox cracking into the best actor category. When you look at the guys he‘s against: Michael C. Hall, Bryan Cranston or Jon Hamm, they are almost in every frame of their series, while Lost is more of an ensemble show, so it has been hard for the Academy to acknowledge Matthew as a lead actor and when they finally did, it meant the world to us.”
Cuse: The expectations were really high for the finale so we knew it wouldn’t please everybody but it must have pleased enough Emmy voters for the show to get all the nominations; if it wasn’t satisfying, we wouldn’t have gotten any nominations. We don’t take it for granted: with incredible shows also ending their runs like 24 and Law & Order to not get (the same recognition), it is easy to see how hard it is to get into the drama field these days.
Lindelof on the Lost finale: I do feel we spent so much time talking about how we were gonna end the show (we started getting questions about that right after the pilot) so the … Read More »