Mae Whitman To Star In High School Comedy ‘The DUFF’

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 11:07am PDT

Mae Whitman The DUFFParenthood‘s Mae Whitman is in negotiations to lead CBS Films comedy The DUFF, adapted from Kody Keplinger’s coming-of-age novel. She’ll star as Bianca, a 17-year-old girl who deals with the ignominy of being labeled the “designated ugly … Read More »

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McG To Direct NBC Pilot ‘Mysteries Of Laura’

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 5:11pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

McGMcG has boarded NBC’s drama pilot The Mysteries Of Laura as director/executive producer, reuniting with Warner Bros TV — where his company, Wonderland Sound Of Vision, was based for 12 years before going indie in June. Mysteries Of Read More »

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Chris Evans To Helm ’1:30 Train’ Before Reprising Captain America In ‘Avengers 2′

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Evans will make his feature directorial debut on 1:30 Train, a Ron Bass-scripted film that will be funded by Wonderland Sound And Vision. Evans will star and produce with Mark Kassen, Howard and Karen Baldwin, Bill … Read More »

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McG’s Wonderland Now A Monied Company With LD Entertainment Partnership; Gina Girolamo To Head TV

EXCLUSIVE: Director-producer McG has re-launched his Wonderland Sound and Vision with a multi-year funding partnership with Mickey Liddell’s private equity-backed LD Entertainment. The arrangement makes McG a buyer with the financial backing for Wonderland to independently develop, produce and finance its own slate of feature film, television and digital projects. The two sides are not disclosing the size of LD Entertainment’s investment but sources indicate that the deal includes an eight-figure overhead component for Wonderland’s current offices on Sunset Boulevard. McG has brought in Alloy Entertainment’s SVP Television Gina Girolamo to run the television division of the now independent company. She succeeds Peter Johnson, who has left after a nine-year stint. Mary Viola, who has been with Wonderland for four years, will continue to oversee the company’s film slate. We hear Wonderland plans to produce 5-6 shows a year, serving as a virtual studio: co-financing, sharing distribution and owning copyright. Wonderland is believed to be the only independent production company of this scale run by a creative type, writer or director. It is a step up for Liddell’s LD Entertainment; he primarily has invested in distribution rights to prestige films like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Biutiful, and started a distribution arm to get in the releasing game.
For the past 12 years, Wonderland was based at Warner Bros Television where it produced more than 500 hours of primetime TV series, including the CW staple Supernatural, Nikita, Chuck and digital series Aim High. McG was offered to stay at the studio with a very lucrative new deal but wanted to step out of the traditional system, an idea he had been bouncing around for years. Here is how McG explains the philosophy and the goals of the company in its new incarnation: “Wonderland is built for the most talented directors, writers, and actors to come over and get their films and television shows made. Our focus is to support the artist and get the material into production. This new relationship now puts Wonderland in a position to go straight into production on our projects. We are now a buyer and, in turn, plan to deliver product to the marketplace quickly and efficiently via traditional and emerging distribution platforms.” Liddell called McG “one of the most creative and innovative talents in the entertainment industry.” Read More »

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ABC Picks Up Comedy ‘Pulling’, Dramas From McG, David Zabel & Brad Pitt

By | Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 7:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC made a late charge on the pilot pickup front to end what will likely be the busiest day this season. (For full list of all broadcast pilots, click here.) The network has given the green light to comedy Pulling, from Bad Teachers scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and producer Aaron Kaplan. On the drama side, picked up are dramas Betrayal from David Zabel; Venice from McG and Byron Balasco, with McG set to direct; and The Returned, from writer Aaron Zelman, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Single-camera comedy Pulling is based on the praised 2006 British series. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky wrote the adaptation, produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly, creators of the original series, executive produce with Eisenberg, Stupnitsky and Kaplan. Pulling revolves around three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point. This marks the second pilot order for Kaplan today, joining CBS’ Dana Klein comedy, and third so far this season, along with NBC’s The Gates. Read More »

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McG’s Kevin Costner Thriller Officially Adds Hailee Steinfeld; Amber Heard & Connie Nielsen Also Join

By | Monday January 7, 2013 @ 2:16pm PST

We told you back in November that Hailee Steinfeld was boarding McG’s untitled action thriller starring Kevin Costner. Now Relativity Media and EuropaCorp are confirming that Steinfeld has … Read More »

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CBS Buys Female Vigilante Drama From McG And Daniel Cerone

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 11:28am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: McG has teamed with The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone for a female-lead crime drama, which has sold to CBS. Carrying the social media-influenced title #Resistance, the project from McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision and Warner Bros TV centers on an unconventional young female detective for the San Francisco Police Department who won’t let criminals get away with their actions. After she finally goes too far, she gets fired from the force — only to be secretly recruited by the Chief of Police to become an undercover officer posing as a vigilante, allowing her to break the law in order to serve justice. Cerone will write the script and executive produce with Wonderland’s McG and Peter Johnson.

The project, somewhat of a female Equalizer, was put together by Wonderland VP Jeff Grosvenor. It stems from McG’s history and interest in empowered female characters and Cerone’s experience on Dexter, where he served as executive producer/showrunner, and on The Mentalist — both shows centered on characters that fight crime from outside the conventional system. Read More »

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TOLDJA! Kevin Costner Stars In McG-Directed ‘Three Days To Kill’

By | Tuesday October 2, 2012 @ 12:17pm PDT
Mike Fleming

File this one under, exclusive, my ass. Back in early August, Deadline broke the story that Kevin Costner would star in Three Days to Kill, and also told you that McG was going to direct and Relativity Media would Read More »

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CW Developing Modern ‘Alice In Wonderland’ With McG And Chad Hodge

By | Tuesday September 18, 2012 @ 2:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The CW is jumping down a rabbit hole to Wunderland, putting in development a contemporary reimagining of Alice In Wonderland. Fittingly, Wunderland hails from McG‘s Warner Bros TV-based production company Wonderland Sound And Vision, in association with WBTV. Written by The Playboy Club creator Chad Hodge, the drama project centers on a young female detective in present-day Los Angeles who discovers another world that exists under the surface of this ultra-modern city. Hodge will write the script and executive produce with McG and Wonderland’s Peter Johnson. This is one of two public domain properties the CW is developing as potential drama series for next season, along with Sleepy Hollow, which also is being produced by WBTV. Lewis Carroll’s classic has been closely associated with Disney via the 1951 animated film and Tim Burton’s 2010 extravaganza. Characters from the book also have been featured on Disney-owned ABC’s fairytale drama Once Upon A Time. Read More »

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ABC Buys McG-Produced Drama With Put Pilot Commitment

By | Monday August 6, 2012 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In one of ABC’s first major development commitments for next season, the network has bought a soapy drama  from McG, producer of Fox’s The O.C., which helped usher in the current resurgence of the primetime … Read More »

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McG To Direct And Produce Greg Berlanti- Marc Guggenheim Fox Drama Pilot ‘Guilty’

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 9:49am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In a symbolic move, on the day Chuck, whose pilot McG directed, is ending its 5-season run on NBC, McG has closed a deal to direct his first pilot since Chuck, Fox’s Guilty. The legal drama, from Greg … Read More »

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Hot International Trailer: ‘This Means War’

By | Wednesday December 7, 2011 @ 12:29am PST

Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play spies who discover they’re dating the same woman — Reese Witherspoon. The decide to go at each other rather like another 20th Century Fox pairing (we’ll let you guess which one) and “may the best man win.” Occasional hilarity and physical comedy ensue. You … Read More »

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Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair To Pen Amanda Seyfried-Starring ‘The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League’ Pic For McG

By | Wednesday November 9, 2011 @ 1:34pm PST

Up-and-coming scribes Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair have been hired to write The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League, the feature adaptation of a Rolling Stone article that McG’s … Read More »

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McG Eyes Summit’s ‘Puzzle Palace’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in talks with McG to direct Puzzle Palace, the cop drama script by David Guggenheim. Summit acquired the project at a pitch early last year from Guggenheim after the scribe sold the spec script Safe Read More »

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Hot Trailer: McG’s ‘This Means War’

Mike Fleming

20th Century Fox has released a trailer for This Means War, the McG-directed comedy that pits the world’s deadliest CIA operatives and inseparable best friends against one another when they find they are dating the same woman. The operatives use all their skills and gadgetry in an attempt to prevail. … Read More »

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Warner Bros Sets ‘Aim High’ As First Facebook Series From Hollywood Studio

By | Thursday September 29, 2011 @ 6:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

Is it a gimmick or a true interactive programming innovation? Warner Bros Digital Distribution has launched what it claims to be the first “social series” from a Hollywood studio in Aim High. It’s an action comedy series that has … Read More »

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McG’s Wonderland Sells 5 Drama Projects

By | Monday September 12, 2011 @ 6:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As it enters its second decade as a company this month, McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision is ramping up TV development this season with 5 drama sales at ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW and several comedy and reality … Read More »

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Universal’s ‘Ouija’ Put Into Turnaround

By | Wednesday August 24, 2011 @ 11:54am PDT

Universal has dropped another board-game film adaptation from its groundbreaking six-year exclusive pact with Hasbro, sending Ouija into turnaround to join previous projects Clue, Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering. The Ouija film — which has McG attached to direct and … Read More »

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Universal Drops ‘Clue’; Gore Verbinski Moves Forward With Hasbro Cash And New Writers

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has quietly dropped out of Clue, one of the seven Hasbro games properties the studio contracted to make into movies in a ground-breaking six-year exclusive deal signed in 2008. Clue becomes the third project out of seven to be dropped by Universal (Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering were also kicked to the curb), but none of those projects are dead. In the case of the murder mystery board game Clue, Hasbro is funding the development and producing the film with Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink. Verbinski, director of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Rango and the upcoming Lone Ranger, still plans to direct Clue, and he and Blind Wink’s John Krauss are producing with Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir.

They’ve just hired Flash Gordon scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama to write the Clue script. The writers will draft a take that Verbinski and his fellow producers came up with that retains the murder mystery spirit of the board game, but broadens the setting to a global stage. Beyond scripting Flash Gordon for Sony Pictures, Sharpless and Sazama are redrafting Dracula Year Zero. That project’s still hanging on at Universal, after being halted just short of the start line because of a high budget, when Alex Proyas was directing and Sam Worthington was going to star. ICM reps the writers.

Is all this a clue that Universal no longer wants to roll the dice on board game movies? Insiders say no. Rather, they tell me that Universal and Hasbro gradually narrowed their focus to the four films that most made sense for the studio: Battleship, the Peter Berg-directed summer 2012 action movie that stars Taylor Kitsch and Liam Neeson, with Universal just releasing its first trailer (below); Stretch Armstrong, which has Rob Letterman directing and Twilight Saga’s Taylor Lautner attached to play the rubbery title character; Candy Land, which is being written by Kung Fu Panda 2 co-writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who’ve described the film as Lord of the Rings, with edibles; and Ouija, which has McG attached to direct and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form producing with Ian Bryce and Hasbro’s Goldner and Schneir. Read More »

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