UPDATE, 1:22 PM: Morgan Creek has confirmed Deadline’s report in a news release. It added that LT Hutton also is aboard as a producer and that the film will shoot in Atlanta.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films is teaming with Morgan Creek Productions to co-finance and co-produce Tupac, creating a new urgency for the long-gestating biopic on the hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur. They are working with a script by Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft, and a new draft is expected in two weeks. Several companies battled for the rights to partner on the film with Jim Robinson’s Morgan Creek before MCP president David Robinson sealed the deal with EFO. They are eyeing a February start date and a $45 million budget. They have the rights to exploit Tupac’s musical catalog, and his mother, Afeni Shakur, will be a producer on the film.
Born in East Harlem to parents who were members of the Black Panthers, Shakur shot to fame as a hip-hop artist and an actor. That rise started with the release of 2Pacalypse Now. His gruff delivery of politically charged, in-your-face lyrics and willingness to lead the “thug life” made him highly credible in the urban music scene. It also made him a target, particularly when a feud between East Coast and West Coast rappers escalated from insults to gunfire. Tupac was gunned down on a street corner in Las Vegas in 1996, and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Starrbury has been brought on board to rewrite Morgan Creek Productions’ Tupac Shakur biopic. Starrbury wrote the screenplay for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, which is premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The Tupac film was announced by Morgan Creek in early 2011. The screenplay for the movie about the iconic hip hop artist, who was killed in 1996, was originally written by Steve Bagatourian, Stephen Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson. James Robinson, David Robinson, and LT Hutton are producing, with Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur as executive producer.The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, about two abandoned small boys trying to survive in the city, is generating a lot of interest at Sundance even though it doesn’t premiere until January 25. Select buyers got an advance look by attending a volunteer Inevitable screening on January 17. Starrbury is also currently finishing up adapting the graphic novel The Great Unknown for New Line. Mark Gordon and Jennifer Todd are producing the action comedy, with Jorma Taccone directing. Michael Starrbury is repped by CAA and Caliber Media.
EXCLUSIVE: Rick Nicita has left Morgan Creek, where he spent the past three years as COO and co-chairman alongside MCP owner James Robinson. Nicita, who left a longtime perch at CAA to take the job, left after his contract expired December 31. Nicita spent 42 years as an agent before taking the MCP job, and during his long tenure as CAA partner he repped the likes of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and Rob Reiner.
“Being a hands on producer wasn’t really what i wanted to do,” Nicita told Deadline. “I had left the agency business after a long time, and I really wanted to try another position on the field. I learned a lot and enjoyed it, but when you get to the contract, that’s when you decide if you want to keep doing it and I’ve decided to pursue other opportunities. I have had a lot of incoming calls with opportunities that range from returning to talent representation business to advising some foreign funds and guide them into the Hollywood system. I’m entertaining these opportunities, but haven’t made a decision yet. I’ll see what transpires.”
Nicita’s move to Morgan Creek was expected to stir up a productivity level that was unimpressive back then. In his run, MCP wasn’t very productive either, he admits. They generated one movie, the Daniel Craig-Rachel Weisz fright film Dream House, which was not a hit. There were movies … Read More »
The press releases are flying over the transom and since the deal-making has been a bit slack. Here are a few tidbits.
* Grosvenor Park will once again lend money to film productions, forming UK-based EIS Film Fund to disperse $100 million each year for productions. Grosvenor Park fled from the film-financing scene in 2008, when the economy and the independent film business hit the rocks. The target is films with budgets ranging from $10 million to $30 million. Grosvenor Park will also produce senior, gap and tax lending collateralized by territorial distribution sales and production tax incentives, which was how the company lended to films in the past. “Now is an optimal time to re-enter the film-lending space given the strength of the marketplace and the current industry dynamics as evidenced by a resurgence of sales activity at the most recent film markets,” said GP’s Don Starr.
* Morgan Creek has become a co-financier on Universal’s remake of The Thing. The studio releases Morgan Creek’s films in the U.S. including the upcoming Jim Sheridan-directed Dream House, which stars Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz. The Thing is a prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic and it’s directed by Matthijs van Heijningen and produced by Strike Entertainment partners Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. Read More »
Universal and Morgan Creek have put up a trailer for Dream House, the thriller that stars Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. The Jim Sheridan-directed film will be released September 30. The trailer certainly lays out a lot of the plot and is it me, or is some of the imagery reminiscent of The Shining?
The film from Universal stars Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz and will be released in September. Here’s the MPAA release:
LOS ANGELES — The Classification and Rating Appeals Board today upheld the R rating given to the movie Dream House. The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) had assigned the movie the R rating for “some violence.”
In the appeal brought by Morgan Creek Productions, the Appeals Board heard statements on behalf of Dream House from Andy Fraser, Vice President, Physical & Post Production for Morgan Creek Productions, and Greig McRitchie, Executive Vice President Feature Post Production for Universal City Studios. The Classification and Rating Administration was represented by Chairman Joan Graves.
Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2011 – Principal photography is scheduled to begin in late Spring/early Summer on the biopic “TUPAC,” it was announced today James G. Robinson, Co-Chairman/CEO, and Rick Nicita, Co-Chairman/COO, of Morgan Creek Productions. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Brooklyn’s Finest”), the film will be shot on location in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia and Las Vegas and is currently being cast.
The film chronicles the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, including his rise to superstardom as a hip hop artist and actor, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records, where he was steeped in the East coast/West coast rap war.
In her support of the upcoming biopic of her late son, Afeni Shakur-Davis said, “I am confident that Morgan Creek will stay true to the common goal we share of depicting Tupac’s life in a way that will allow the world to see the authenticity of his artistry, his hopes, and his life goals.“
Commented producer LT Hutton,”I am honored to be part of the process that is bringing his life and legacy to the big screen. I am thankful to Afeni Shakur for giving this project her blessing and to Morgan Creek for giving it the green light.”
“TUPAC” will be produced by James G. Robinson, David Robinson and LT Hutton, and executive produced by Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The
Though the material market is summer sluggish, WME has managed the neat trick of closing in on three script deals this week, with another on the brink.
The spec in play is Ion, a Will Dunn scifi script that has Channing Tatum attached, with Scott Free producing. Fox 2000 (Scott Free’s home studio) has made an offer, but other studios are circling. A man travels to different dimensions in an effort to find his reincarnated love. It would be the first sale for Dunn, a British scribe., who has spent the past half year honing the material with input from Scott Free and Tatum. WME is selling with The Safran Co.
Mandate Pictures is closing in on a deal to acquire Hell to Pay, a script by Vlas and Charley Parlapanides, who wrote the Tarsem-directed Immortals, which Relativity and Universal are shooting right now. The spec is a revenge thriller about a man who returns home from the Air Force stint and becomes the fall guy to settle his father’s gambling debt to the head of a Miami mob. He takes the rap for the mobster’s son. While serving the jail stretch, the man’s father is murdered by the mob boss. He seeks to square things when he is released. WME sold that script with Underground.
Morgan Creek bought Step Dawg, a comic script by Jeff Tetreault about a 30-ish man who returns home to discover that his single mom plans to marry his … Read More »