Starz will develop an adaptation of FremantleMedia North America’s Neil Gaiman urban fantasy novel American Gods. Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller and The River and Heroes executive producer Michael Green will write the pilot and showrun the series. The 2001 novel, which has been translated into more than 30 languages, and centers on a looming war between the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots and the upstart pantheon of gods who stand for society’s fixation with money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. The story’s main character, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman and older god. Both set on a cross-country mission to gather forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
EXCLUSIVE: Life Of Pi scribe David Magee is venturing into television. The Oscar-nominated feature writer has teamed with Michael Green for a high-concept drama project, which has landed at ABC with significant penalty. Written by Magee with Green supervising, Travelers centers on a man who brings his family to a wake for the father he never knew, only to discover that the doors inside his father’s estate are time portals which trap them in the house and send them on a journey through history. 20th Century Fox TV, where Green is under an overall deal, is producing. 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff, who is attached to Green’s projects at 20th TV, will executive produce with Green and Magee. The sale brings Green back to ABC where he had another high-concept project through 20th TV two season ago, Gotham, which went to pilot and came close to a series order.
In addition to Travelers, WME-repped Green is adapting League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen for Fox with a put pilot commitment and has half-hour comedy American Girls On Vacation, about the oversees vacation of three BFFs, in development at Showtime. CAA-repped Magee earned Oscar nominations for writing Life Of Pi and Finding Neverland.
Captain Nemo could be coming to the small screen and he’s bringing some friends with him. Fox today gave a put pilot commitment to League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The one-hour drama is based on comic guru Alan Moore and illustrator Kevin O’Neill’s multi-volume series featuring Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dracula’s Mina Harker, the Invisible Man and Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Michael Green will serve as executive producer/showrunner for the 20th Century Fox TV-produced project, with Erwin Stoff also executive producing. Neither Moore nor O’Neill is involved in the project, which marks the studio’s first major drama sale to Fox this development season and comes just under a year after Gotham creator Green inked an overall two-year deal with 20th TV for cable and broadcast projects in conjunction with Stoff.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 31, 2013, 3:30 pm, EST—Writer Michael Green is in negotiations to do a rewrite of Alcon Entertainment’s “Blade Runner” sequel penned by Hampton Fancher (“Blade Runner,” “The Minus Man,” “The Mighty Quinn”) and to be directed by Ridley Scott. Fancher’s original story/screenplay is set some years after the first film concluded.
Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Green recently completed rewrites on “Robopocalypse” and Warners Bros “Gods and Kings.”
Alcon and Yorkin previously announced that they are partnering to produce “Blade Runner” theatrical sequels and prequels, in addition to all television and interactive productions.
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, writer-producer Michael Green has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. The rich seven-figure pact is for development only, and will focus on cable as much as broadcast. Green will work with 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff on projects, which the two will executive produce together. The deal comes on the heels of a development deal Green had with 20th TV, which resulted in Gotham. The supernatural procedural, about a female cop who discovers a magical world that exists within New York City, went to pilot at ABC, which landed Francis Lawrence as director. The project got very close to a series order, with ABC extending the pickup conversations with 20th TV beyond the upfronts, but ultimately a deal couldn’t be reached. “Michael delivered a fantastic pilot for us in Gotham, and we knew we wanted to stay in business with him exclusively going forward,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “He has an incredible talent for creating new worlds, which are richly inventive and yet undeniably accessible at the same time. He’s one of the most sought-after writers in both features and TV, and his projects always attract the best talent.”
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a whopping deal to acquire screen rights to Unholy Night, the new novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith will write the script, and he and KatzSmith partner David Katzenberg will produce with Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. I’ve heard that the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million upfront for the rights to the book and for Grahame-Smith to adapt it. The studio got first look at the book, as both KatzSmith and Heyday are based at Warner Bros. That is where Heyman produced the Harry Potter film series and where Grahame-Smith scripted the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows. Unholy Night, an action/adventure surrounding the Three Wise Men of the Nativity, will be published in April by Grand Central.
Setting up a film based around the birth of Jesus Christ gives Warner Bros its third high-profile movie based on a seminal religious story. The studio has been discussing the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing Gods And Kings, an epic-sized film about the life of Moses scripted by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. And Warner Bros recently set up a project being scripted by Joe Eszterhas and Mel Gibson (who has first option to direct) about the heroic story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Maccabee’s triumph and struggle against tyranny and oppression where people gave their lives so that others would be free to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.
EXCLUSIVE: New Regency closed a mid-six figure deal for Hellbent, a thriller pitch that will be written by Aron Eli Coleite. Erwin Stoff and Michael Green will produce and New Regency CEO Brad Weston took it off the table as two other bids mobilized. It’s described as a prison escape movie with supernatural elements. Hellbent is the second deal in a month for Coleite, whose science fiction/drama spec script The End was recently bought by Warner Bros. That film focuses on three completely different storylines that are interconnected by the fact that the players in each one are trying to reconcile the fact that the world is going to end. There is a veteran broadcaster in London, a 16-year old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a devoted family man in Shanghai. They each try to make peace with their lives before an interstellar event ends the world in just six hours.
Coleite works with Green on the ABC series The River, and they previously worked together on Heroes. “We were eager to get in business with the new configuration of New Regency, and Brad really got the pitch and has had success with genre movies,” Stoff said. “That made it the right place for the pitch.” The scribe is repped by CAA, Green by WME and 3 Arts.
Here’s an interesting one to ponder on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Warner Bros is courting Steven Spielberg to direct Gods and Kings, an epic-sized film about life of Moses. There haven’t been formal meetings yet, but Spielberg has read the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. Getting Spielberg is a long shot on any film because his deal is complex, his dance card is always full, and Warner Bros would have to be willing to share the picture with DreamWorks. Still, I’ve heard there will be a discussion. Gods and Kings covers the life of Moses from birth to death. In between, there is his awakening to the plight of the Hebrew slaves that led Moses’ struggle against the Pharaoh for their freedom out of Egypt; the Ten Plagues; the Burning Bush; the daring escape across the Red Sea; receiving the Ten Commandments, and delivery to Israel. The film is not a
EXCLUSIVE: ABC, which has new fairytale-themed series Once Upon a Time slated to launch next month, has bought another drama with magical elements. The project, from Kings creator Michael Green, has received a put pilot commitment. It centers on a female cop who, after pursuing a seemingly unsolvable case, discovers a magical world that exists within New York City. 20th Century Fox TV is producing through a script deal Green signed there last season, with Green and his manager, 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff, executive producing.
Heroes alum Green had the idea for the project last year, but after seeing two other projects with similar premises sell, including Ron Moore’s 17th Precinct to NBC, he and 20th decided to shelve his and roll his deal to this year as Green also was busy on the feature side.
Kings creator Green was originally recruited to rewrite Michael Perry’s pilot script for The River, which is executive produced by Paranormal Activity filmmaker Oren Peli. At the time, Green only made a deal for the rewrite, which he turned around in eight days, with no pilot or series pact in place as he had a pre-existing development deal at 20th Century Fox TV to develop his own project. When The River was picked up to pilot, Green was approached about a deal to become an executive producer on the pilot and the potential series. He agreed, signing a rich pact to serve as showrunner on the pilot and the potential first 13-episode cylce of the show. After that, he will return to his development deal at 20th TV, which has been rolled to next year. One of Green’s conditions was that ABC Studios brought on another writing executive producer to support him on the pilot and the first 13 episodes and take over as showrunner if the show receives a back order. Prison Break alum Estrin, who last year helped launch Fox’s The Good Guys as an executive producer, was tapped for the job. He is already in business with ABC Studios …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that the latest script for the DC Comics character The Flash will be handed into Warner Bros between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green are writing the draft, and Greg Berlanti did the story with them. No word on who’ll direct The Flash yet, but I can tell you it’s doubtful it’ll be Berlanti, even though his very different Life As We Know It came in #2 at the box office for the studio this weekend. And his freshman TV superpowers series No Ordinary Family is now ABC’s most promising new drama, doing respectable business as a self-starter in one of the most competitive time slots. ”He won’t want to direct it because he kinda wants to do something in between size-wise first before attempting something that large,” an insider tells me. On the other hand, “If Warner Bros does like the script and wants him to direct it… But that’s a lot of ifs. And all of it is moot if they don’t dig the script. Green Lantern wasn’t real until the studio liked the draft.” Speaking of Green Lantern, all 3 scribes worked on that superhero pic which director Martin Campbell is right now editing. And I hear the film shaping up is “jaw-dropping”.) My source says, “They’re working round the clock on that now. Also, the three of them are …