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.” READ MORE »
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.
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.