Here’s our first look at Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, the real-life journalist who wound up on the business end of an ugly CIA smear campaign. The Pulitzer winner reported on the agency’s alleged involvement in launching America’s crack epidemic, reporting that it was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm Nicaraguan rebels. Director Michael Cuesta‘s Kill The Messenger also stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Andy Garcia. Peter Landesman wrote the script for the thriller, which Focus Features will release October 10. Check it out:
EXCLUSIVE: Before AMC’s smash The Walking Dead, hit French series The Returned and ABC’s upcoming Resurrection, there was the 2007 CBS/20th Century Fox TV pilot Babylon Fields, from Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta and Michael Atkinson, about a town’s residents coming back from the dead. Though it had a momentum, it missed the cut for fall 2007 and then midseason 2008, but the demise only cemented its instant cult status. Now Babylon Fields is getting a second chance at NBC, which has ordered a new pilot. The Cuesta brothers and Atkinson are back in their original roles as writers (Gerald Cuesta, Atkinson) and director (Michael Cuesta). The three will executive produce for 20th Century Fox TV. As part of the pilot order, Michael Cuesta has inked a two-year overall deal with the studio.
Described as a sardonic drama, in Babylon Fields, the dead are rising in Babylon, NY, and as a result, lives are regained, old wounds are reopened and families are restored — for better or worse. The newly regenerated bodies are healing faster and growing stronger than anyone else leading to the suspicion that they might be the next step in human evolution. Babylon Fields has long been a passion project for NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, who developed it in her previous role as EVP Creative Affairs at 20th TV. Despite … Read More »
CBS has added one more pilot to its drama roster, greenlighting Second Sight, from Michael Cuesta, director/executive producer of the Emmy-winning Homeland and CSI executive producer/showrunner Carol Mendelsohn. Based on the 2000 British series starring Clive Owen, Second Sight is described as a gothic psychological thriller about a detective who is suddenly afflicted with an autoimmune virus that causes hallucinations reflective of his subconscious. He discovers that catching the killer depends as much on insight as eyesight. (watch the trailer for the original series below.) Cuesta wrote the adaptation with his brother Gerald Cuesta. The two previously teamed for another CBS drama project, the cult 2007 zombie pilot Babylon Fields, which Gerald co-wrote and Michael directed. Michael Cuesta is set to direct Second Sight, which he is executive producing with Mendelsohn, her executive Julie Weitz, Paula Milne, who created the original series, and Nick Reed. Weitz secured the rights to the British format for Carol Mendelsohn Prods. through British-born agent-turned-producer Reed, with whom she previously worked together at ICM. Gerald Cuesta and Phil Goldfine are co-executive producing.
Michael Cuesta shared in Homeland‘s best drama series Emmy win. There are four series currently on the air whose pilots he directed: Showtime’s Homeland and Dexter and CBS’ Blue Bloods and Elementary. Cuesta and Mendelsohn are with WME.
EXCLUSIVE:Michael Cuesta, director/executive producer of the Emmy-winning Homeland, has teamed with CSI executive producer/showrunner Carol Mendelsohn for Second Sight, a drama based on the 2000 British series starring Clive Owen. The project has been set up at CBS through CBS TV Studios, where Cuesta is under an overall deal, and studio-based Carol Mendelsohn Prods.
Second Sight centers on a homicide detective going blind who turns his affliction into an advantage – using his heightened senses and intuition to solve crimes. (watch the trailer for the original series below.) Cuesta will write the adaptation with his brother Gerald Cuesta. The two previously teamed for another CBS drama project, the cult 2007 zombie pilot Babylon Fields, which Gerald co-wrote and Michael directed. Michael Cuesta is set to direct Second Sight, which he is executive producing with Mendelsohn, her executive Julie Weitz, Paula Milne, who created the original series, and Nick Reed. Weitz secured the rights to the British format for Carol Mendelsohn Prods. through British-born agent-turned-producer Reed, with whom she previously worked together at ICM. Gerald Cuesta and Phil Goldfine are co-executive producing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off directing the pilot for Showtime’s acclaimed new drama series Homeland, which he also executive produces, Michael Cuesta has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the seven-figure pact, which starts immediately and runs through June 1, 2013, Cuesta will direct and executive produce the studio’s contemporary Sherlock Holmes drama pilot Elementary. He will also develop for next season, probably with his brother Gerald Cuesta, with whom he did the cult 2007 CBS/20th TV zombie pilot Babylon Fields. Michael Cuesta will likely write a pilot, which he will direct if greenlighted. If not, he will helm another pilot for CBS TV Studios next season. The overall deal won’t interfere with Cuesta’s duties on Homeland, on which he will continue as executive producer and primary director at least through Season 2. Cuesta recently received a DGA nomination for helming the pilot of the Golden Globe-winning series.
The pact reunites WME-repped Cuesta with CBS TV Studios after he directed the pilot for the studio’s CBS drama series Blue Bloods. He also directed the pilot of another hit series, Showtime’s Dexter. Elementary is described as a modern take on the cases of the pipe-smoking private eye created by Arthur Conan Doyle, with Sherlock now living in New York City. Veteran Medium writer-producer Doherty wrote the script and is executive producing with Cuesta, Sarah Timberman & Carl Beverly.
Magnolia Pictures has landed U.S. rights to the Michael Cuesta-directed drama Roadie, which stars Ron Eldard as a longtime Blue Oyster Cult roadie who is fired and returns home to Queens, where he has a wild encounter with a pair of old high school buddies. Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy and Lois Smith co-star. The film is written by Gerald Cuesta and Michael Cuesta, and produced by Mike Downey and Sirad Balducci. Magnolia will release the film through its Ultra VOD program; it will be available on those platforms beginning December 2 and be released theatrically on January 6, 2012. Magnolia’s Dori Begley and Chris Matson negotiated the deal with Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina and Christine D’Souza and WME’s Graham Taylor repping the filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: Helmer Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot for Showtime’s newly picked up drama Homeland, is joining the series as an executive producer. This marks the second consecutive pilot directed by Cuesta to go to series following CBS’ Blue Bloods last year. And this is the second time Cuesta is producing a series. He previously served as a co-executive producer on another Showtime drama, Dexter, whose pilot he also directed. On thriller Homeland, based on Gideon Raff’s Israeli series Prisoners of War, WME-repped Cuesta will serve as an executive producer alongside the project’s writers Howard Gordon, Raff and Alex Gansa as well as Avi Nir and Ron Telem. The series centers on Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Scott Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed deal for nine years, was a setup and may be connected to an al-Qaida plot to be carried out on American soil. Mandy Patinkin plays a veteran CIA Division Chief who is Carrie’s boss and mentor.
Former Dexter director-producer Michael Cuesta, who most recently helmed the pilot for CBS’ cop family drama Blue Bloods, has signed on to direct Showtime’s drama pilot Homeland, a psychological thriller from former 24 showrunner Howard Gordon based on an Israeli format.
In other notable recent pilot director signings, former Six Feet Under director-executive producer Alan Poul has been tapped to direct and executive produce TNT’s drama pilot Perception starring Eric McCormack as a brilliant neuroscientist helping the FBI, Gregory Hoblit (Untraceable) is set to direct another TNT pilot, the untitled Allan Loeb cop drama project starring Steven Weber and D.L Hughley, which is based on Marshall Karp’s novel The Rabbit Factory. On the broadcast side, Danny Cannon has come on board to direct Fox’s drama pilot Alcatraz. The gig marks Cannon’s first collaboration with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, which is co-producing the pilot with Warner Bros. TV. Cannon, who made his TV directing debut on the pilot for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced CSI, has worked primarily with the WBTV-based Bruckheimer TV. His most notable effort on a non-Bruckheimer-produced project came last spring when he directed and executive produced the CW/WBTV pilot Nikita.
At ABC Family, Wendey Stanzler is directing drama pilot Nine Lives starring Skyler Samuels and Amy Pietz, Keith Truesdell is shooting the untitled Brenda Hampton pilot, and … Read More »