SUNDAY 3 AM, 4TH UPDATE: Summer 2013 can’t start quickly enough for me when I’ll have some decent grosses to go gaga over. For now 2 newcomers debuted during a slow $84M weekend down -19% from last year. Pain & Gain (2,950 theaters) is #1 this weekend. My sources say it opened with $7.4M Friday – including $750K in Thursday evening/Friday midnights – and $7.7M Saturday for a $20M weekend. That’s so-so for the Paramount Pictures true crime comedy that had uneven reviews and a mediocre ‘C+’ CinemaScore from audiences – but only a $26M budget. Pain & Gain was part of Michael Bay’s 2-picture deal with Paramount that also included Transformers 4. Stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson deferred their compensation in return for big back ends. Surprising that the combination of them couldn’t open this pic with a bigger number. Hey, the studio encouraged Bay to do his best Coen Brothers imitation and produce/direct his little passion project considering all the Transformersmoolah he has made for Brad Grey, Rob Moore, Adam Goodman, et al. Wahlberg (now in Bay’s Transformers 4), Johnson, and Anthony Mackie play 1990s Florida bodybuilders whose crime spree to get rich goes horribly wrong. Supporting cast includes Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, and Bar Paly. The screenplay credited to Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely is based on a Miami New Times article by Pete Collins about Florida businessman …
Listen to (and share) episode 23 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Our awards columnist and host David Bloom talk about the call the Motion Picture Academy made to Seth MacFarlane to host the 2014 Oscars; what makes a major film studio now that Lionsgate has joined the $1 billion box-office club; and the highlights of this weekend’s TCM Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood. They also preview the week’s movie debuts, including Michael Bay‘s “small” film Pain & Gain, the big mystery that is The Big Wedding and two indie winners in Mud, featuring Matthew McConaughey, and the Oscar-nominated dramatized version of Kon-Tiki.
The blogs took off running this week with an interview quoting Michael Bay “apologizing” for 1998′s Armageddon. Then the Pain & Gain director’s own words came back around to him. In a post to his website today the director accused reporter/critic Rene Rodriguez of misquoting him in his Miami Herald interview: “One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning”. The only problem? Rodriguez didn’t misreport Bay. Tweeted Rodriguez: “@ReneMiamiHerald: Michael Bay says I quoted him out of context about apologizing for ‘Armageddon.’ NBC asked me for a response, and I played them the tape. I didn’t misquote anyone. All the sites that picked up the story did. Bay’s quote in his story clearly refers to the rushed edit job on the film. So who owes whom an apology?
Here is a first-look trailer for Black Sails, Starz‘s upcoming pirate adventure series executive produced by Michael Bay, which is slated to air next year. The eight-episode drama takes place 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and chronicles the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, including young John Silver (Luke Arnold). Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, most notorious criminal haven of its day — a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers. Co-starring in the series, created by Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine, are Zack McGowan, Hannah New and Jessica Parker Kennedy.
CinemaCon kicked off tonight at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a presentation from Paramount. In only its 3rd year, what used to be ShoWest is proving to have the magic touch as once again all the major studios plus Lionsgate will be doing dog and pony shows for the nation’s exhibitors before the confab ends on Thursday. Paramount and its Vice Chairman Rob Moore were first and offered the theater owners a slickly produced and very quick reel of upcoming product, along with extended looks at its hoped-for summer blockbusters Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, as well as a complete screening of Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain which opens next week.
With director J.J. Abrams stuck in L.A. still mixing the film to make its May 17 release date, Star Trek sequel writer/producer Damon Lindelof (Lost) filled in and interviewed cast members on hand including CinemaCon’s Male Star Of The Year Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Alice Eve and John Cho. Pine talked about the “vulnerability” of Kirk in this installment, while Quinto emphasized Mr. Spock’s previously not-fully-explored “emotional” side. Quinto also said it was the most physical of the Trek films at least for him. The 18 minutes of footage shown in 3D certainly confirmed that, with hair-raising scenes set in a volcano, underwater, and for a sequence where Kirk …
Michael Bay‘s $25M true crime comedy stars Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Anthony Mackie as 1990s Florida bodybuilders whose plot to get rich via kidnapping and extortion goes horribly wrong. Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, and Rob Corddry round out the supporting cast. Paramount releases Pain & Gain on April 26. Here’s the new redband trailer:
After a lengthy casting process, Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins have been set as the leads of A&E‘s drama pilot Occult, produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer, The X-Files alum James Wong. With Lucas and Collins on board, the project, originally picked up in September as cast-contingent, is going into production. Occult, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on Dolan (Lucas), an FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with Noa Blair (Collins), an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force. Wong executive produces with Bay and his partners at Platinum Dunes Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. The pilot was laid off at ABC Studios, marking the studio’s first collaboration with A&E.
Looks like Michael Bay doesn’t hold a grudge. He’s just announced via his blog that Megan Fox will star in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the live-action/CGI feature from producer Bay, his Platinum Dunes and Paramount. Jonathan Liebesman is directing. This comes after Fox was most publicly dismissed from Bay’s Transformers threequel back in 2010 after the two clashed (Fox likened Bay to Hitler on set and called him “a nightmare to work for”, which set off a firestorm and led to her getting the boot). The TMNT reboot is dated for a May 16, 2014 release after it was pushed back to cut the budget to around $125M.
Michael Bay just announced new casting for Transformers 4 on his website. “I just hired a great new actor for Transformers 4 to star against Mark Wahlberg,” Bay wrote. “Jack Reynor, he is an Irish kid that came to America with 30 bucks in his pocket. Pretty ballsy. Seriously who does that? Anyway I spotted him in a great little Irish movie What Richard Did. This kid is the real deal.
Transformers 4, is not a reboot,” Bay added, explaining that the rumor has been floating around on the net.
Michael Bay announced today that Mark Wahlberg will star in Transformers 4. “Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on Pain And Gain and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy,” Bay said on his website this afternoon. Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce will produce Transformers 4. Bay, Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian will executive produce. The fourth film in the mechanical shapeshifting franchise from Paramount is due to hit the big screen on June 27, 2014. The first three Transformers films have grossed $2.6 billion worldwide. The crime comedy Pain And Gain, which stars Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie, is scheduled to open April 26, 2013. Wahlberg is repped by WME and Leverage Management and Bay also is repped by WME.
Jonathan Mostow is set to direct the pilot written by Without A Trace creator Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane. Based on the popular novel by William Brinkley, The Last Ship centers on the crew of a naval destroyer who, after a global catastrophe decimates the earth’s population, are forced to confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they are among the only survivors. McManus will play Lt. Jackie Makena, a crew member who runs the Combat Information Center and is in charge of missile deployment. Parnell will play Hugh Jeter, Command Master Chief aboard the USS Nathan James. Van Winkle will play Danny Green, the leader of a small crew of SEALS aboard the Nathan James. Elmore will play Lt. Alisha Granderson who co-steers the ship. Spruell will play Quincy, a paleomicrobiologist. McManus, repped by UTA and Magnolia Entertainment, most recently starred on NBC’s Awake. Parnell, repped by Greene & Associates, will next be seen in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek sequel.
The Michael Bay-directed film starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to open wide on April 26, 2013. Pain And Gain, one-half of Bay’s two picture deal with Paramount (the other is Transformers 4), is based on a true story about a group of bodybuilders who engaged in a campaign of kidnapping, extortion and murder in Florida.
British actor Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) has been cast in the lead role of Captain Flint in Starz’s upcoming pirate drama series Black Sails, executive produced by Michael Bay. The eight-episode series, created by Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine, is set 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and chronicles the adventures of fabled buccaneer Captain Flint and his men. The series is in pre-production in Cape Town, South Africa, with Starz eying it for a launch in early 2014, possibly inheriting the Spartacus slot.
A&E has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Occult, a drama produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer, The X-Files alum James Wong. The project, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on a FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance. Eager to be back on the job, he is paired with an agent with her own complicated backstory who specializes in the occult. Together, they will solve cases for the newly formed occult crimes task force. Wong executive produces with Bay and his partners at Platinum Dunes Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. There is no studio attached yet.
EXCLUSIVE: TNT has given a pilot order to The Last Ship, an action drama series executive produced by Michael Bay. The project, originally announced as part of TNT’s development slate in May, is based on the popular novel by William Brinkley. Written by Without A Trace creator Hank Steinberg and Steven Kane (The Closer), The Last Ship centers on the crew of a naval destroyer who, after a global catastrophe decimates the earth’s population, are forced to confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they are among the only survivors. The project hails from Bay’s Platinum Dunes banner. He is executive producing the pilot with his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form; Steinberg, who serves as showrunner; and Kane. “The book The Last Ship is a gripping page-turner that has all the makings of a terrific television drama, including a great premise, memorable characters, intense situations and heart-racing action,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. “We look forward to working with Michael Bay and The Last Ship‘s outstanding production team.”
Over the past year or so, Bay, director-producer of such blockbusters as the Transformers and Bad Boys movie franchises, has focused on expanding his brand to television through his production company. The pilot order to The Last Ship comes on the heels …
Another week, and another Paramount movie in trouble. First there was G.I. Joe 2‘s plot problems leading to reshoots and a release date delay. Then there was World War Z‘s problematic production and required reshoots and third act revision. Now it’s the Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles reboot. Paramount says it has pushed back the pic’s start date by 10 weeks in order to cut the budget $10M to $20M down to $125M. That means the release date also will push back: from Christmas 2013 to May 16, 2014. Initially, Paramount hired the Iron Man writing team of Art Marcum and Matt Holloway for close to $1 million to revamp Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a fast-tracked live action feature film to be released in summer 2012. At the time, the studio was looking at this as its next huge franchise like Transformers. Then the Jonathan Liebesman-directed live action-CGI combo’s release date was pushed to Christmas 2013. Now Paramount tells me it’s pushed again to May 16th, 2014 — presuming that the studio’s cost target is achieved.
Related: Big Problems Behind ‘G.I. Joe 2′s Big Delay
Related: Paramount Sets ‘Ninja Turtles’ For Xmas 2013
Related: Paramount Taps Scribes Appelbaum & Nemec For ‘Ninja Turtles’
It was announced today that Paramount has reached an $18.5 million settlement with Gabriella Cedillo, the extra who suffered a severe head trauma on the set of the Transformers 3 film on September 1, 2010. The victim’s attorney accused Paramount of doing “everything they could to avoid payment”. A source tells Deadline that the lawsuit filed in October 2010 would have gone on longer if Michael Bay’s name hadn’t been thrown into the legal mix. But the possibility that the director and his Platinum Dunes production company suddenly were to be pulled in as defendants apparently lit a fire under Paramount to speed a settlement. Today’s news comes after a year and a half of legal maneuvering, including attempts by the studio to move the case from Illinois to California, as well one already failed mediation. Then Paramount approached Cedillo’s attorneys early this year seeking a second mediation. It took just a couple more meetings between the lawyers for the settlement to be reached in late March. But it took up until today for all the paperwork to get finalized, and for Cedillo’s attorney to present the deal to the judge. “We are pleased that the Cedillo family has agreed to move forward with the settlement. This was a tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers remain with Gabriela,” a Paramount spokesperson said today.
EXCLUSIVE: Starz is heading out to the high seas with a straight-to-series order for a pirate adventure drama executive produced by Michael Bay. The series, tentatively titled Black Sails, was created by Jon Steinberg and Robert Levine. The eight-episode drama is set 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island and chronicles the adventures of fabled buccaneer Captain Flint and his men. Flint, the most brilliant and feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day — a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by its enlightened ideals and stunning brutality. “Starz is excited to be working with a visionary like Michael,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “Along with the high-octane action that is a hallmark of a Michael Bay production, it has the elements that Starz originals are striving to bring to the premium landscape: epic, larger-than-life, cinematic storytelling. The series is also a property we believe will appeal to the global content marketplace with broadcasters around the world.” The latter is important to Starz because, like with the Spartacus franchise and Magic City, Starz owns all domestic and international rights to Black Sails.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that A&E has put in development an unscripted reality series executive produced by feature director-producer Michael Bay. The untitled project, a competition reality series that promises to test the strength of the family unit like never before, is being produced by Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Shed Media US (Supernanny). Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller and Shed Media US’ Nick Emmerson and Dan Peirson are executive producing. If the project, now in early stages of development, goes to series, it will mark a first for both A&E and Bay. A&E, known for its stable of docu reality series, has made giving a greenlight to its first competition reality series a priority. For Bay, who’s been behind such blockbuster film franchises as Transformers, this would be the first unscripted series, also an arena his Platinum Dunes has been pursuing. Two years ago, it partnered with with top reality producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves to develop an action-adventure series.