Legendary Television and Digital Media has optioned World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide author Max Brooks‘ horror comic series The Extinction Parade for development as a TV series. Brooks will assist in development of the project and pen the pilot episode, Brooks and Avatar Press said today. Extinction Parade pits zombies against vampires in a world where the zombie plague has put the human race on the endangered species list, according to a description of the series on Avatar’s website. Fearing the end of their food supply, the vastly outnumbered vampires enter into an all-out subdead war with the zombies, with humans caught in the crossfire.
In New Michael De Luca Deal, Sony Acquires Rights To ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ From ‘World War Z’ Author Max Brooks
He’s only officially been a Sony exec for less than a week, but Michael De Luca‘s dance card is quickly filling up. Sony Pictures today acquired the rights to World War Z author Max Brooks‘ soon-to-be published graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters. De Luca will oversee the project in one of his first projects with Sony as production president of Columbia Pictures. Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter will produce for Overbrook Entertainment and Brooks will adapt the script. Illustrated by Caanan White and set in 1918, Harlem Hellfighters tells the story of the U.S. Army’s 369th infantry regiment, an African-American unit fighting in Europe during World War I. The famed infantry regiment spent more time in direct combat than any other American unit during the war. The men returned Stateside as heroes but still faced the hard hand of racism from their fellow soldiers, citizens and the federal government. Harlem Hellfighters is set to be published on April 1 by Broadway Books. Representing Brooks and Overbrook, CAA brokered the deal with Sony. The World War Z scribe is also repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and UK-based lit agency Ed Victor Ltd.
Ed Zwick To Direct Legendary East’s First Film ‘The Great Wall’; Marshall Herskovitz & Chuck Roven Also Attached
Legendary East To Raise $220.5M Through Hong Kong For Film Studio From China
BREAKING: Ed Zwick will direct The Great Wall, the first project for Legendary East, that Hong Kong-based stand-alone entertainment company that was started by Legendary Entertainment’s Thomas Tull with Asian partners. Zwick and his longtime partner Marshall Herskovitz will write the script based on a story about the mystery behind China’s greatest manmade structure as imagined by Legendary chairman Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks. Based in Hong Kong with Chinese management and international investors besides Tull, the new company wants to be positioned to produce content that is as commercially viable within China and the rest of the world. The Great Wall will be produced by Legendary’s Tull and Jon Jashni, as well as Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner and Chuck Roven, who is a frequent producer on Legendary/Warner Bros films (currently in production on The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel), and Zwick and Herskovitz. The project will be distributed in China by Legendary East’s co-production partner, Huayi Brothers, while distribution in all other parts of the globe is anticipated to be handled by Warner Bros Pictures, which is Legendary Entertainment’s longtime partner on films.
Paramount Pictures has set Dec. 21, 2012 as the release date for World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie-infestation novel. The film is in production now, with Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale starring. Pitt is producing with his Plan B partner Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Colin Wilson. The film’s co-financed by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions and Jeff Sagansky’s Hemisphere Media Capital. And Graham King’s GK Films has also come aboard as financier, with King and Tim Headington taking executive producer credit.
How does that crowd the holiday field? Warner Bros opens the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Dec. 14. WWZ then comes the following week, smack against Relativity Media’s Hunter Killer, Fox’s Life of Pi and Disney’s Johnny Depp-starrer Lone Ranger on Dec. 21. The Weinstein Company follows on Christmas with the Quentin Tarantino-directed Django Unchained. That’s a lot of good product in a compressed time period.
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: Paramount Pictures, once shaky about the prospects of the Marc Forster-directed zombie extravangza World War Z, is now on track to make the picture this summer. I’m told that Mireille Enos, star of the AMC hit series The Killing, is in talks to play Karin Lane, the wife of Gerard Lane, the character played by Brad Pitt in the adaptation of the Max Brooks book. In The Killing, she plays Sarah Linden, the homicide detective trying to solve the murder of Rosie Larsen. This will be the first major-studio starring role for Enos, who starred for three seasons on HBO’s Big Love. She’s repped by Innovative and Authentic.
There had been speculation that Paramount would not bite on the Plan B-produced WWZ because it has a $125 million budget. But as Deadline reported, the studio brought in a couple of risk-sharing partners that will include David Ellison’s Skydance. That cleared the way for the movie version of the book that looks at the aftermath of a global zombie war 10 years after the conflict, with a researcher for the UN Postwar Commission interviewing survivors in countries that were decimated by flesh-eaters. It was thorough, and a thoroughly creepy read. Matt Carnahan wrote the most recent draft of the script, after earlier drafts by Michael J. Straczynski.
‘World War Z’ With Brad Pitt And Marc Forster Regroups; Can It Beat Imminent Zombie Pic Infestation?
While there have been reports that Paramount might kill World War Z because of a $125 million budget and no partners, I’m hearing that hot and heavy talks are going on with David Ellison’s Skydance and as many as two other financiers to share the load on a movie that is gearing up for production as soon as June. The plan remains for Brad Pitt to star and for Marc Forster to direct the adaptation Max Brooks’ novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The book looked at the aftermath of a global zombie war 10 years after the conflict, with a researcher for the UN Postwar Commission interviewing survivors in countries that were decimated by flesh eaters. It was thorough, and a thoroughly creepy read. Matt Carnahan wrote the script.
The temptation is to joke about the irony of a zombie project coming back to life after it was pronounced near dead. As a devotee of great zombie movies from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Zack Snyder’s spirited Dawn of the Dead remake and genre spoofs Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead, I am excited enough by WWZ that I hope it stays on its fast track. Because if it waits around much longer, Hollywood might by that time have killed off the genre with an …
Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.