Neill Blomkamp‘s sci-fi Chappie has added Sigourney Weaver as filming gets underway in Johannesburg. The Sony/MRC production written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell follows the preternaturally gifted robot Chappie, who’s kidnapped by two criminals during birth. Weaver joins an eclectic cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Sharlto Copley voicing the eponymous Chappie, Dev Patel, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Brandon Auret, and Ninja and Yolandi Visser of the South African rap duo Die Antwoord. Sony is distributing the pic, which is being produced by Blomkamp and his Elysium producer Simon Kinberg. Sony’s Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor are overseeing with Brye Adler of MRC. Weaver is repped by UTA.
Philip K. Dick Trust Sues ‘Adjustment Bureau’ Director And Producers Again Over Missed Payments And Closed Books
The trustees to author Philip K. Dick want an adjustment on their fees for The Adjustment Bureau – a rather larger adjustment of more than $500,000. In a 14-page civil case complaint filed today in LA Superior Court, (read the suit here) The Philip K. Dick Testamentary Trust says that director George Nolfi, producer Michael Hackett, Media Rights Capitol and its subsidiaries owe them at least half a million dollars plus fees and other damages “to be proven at trial” from the 2011 film. Citing Breach of Contract and four other claims, the Trust says that the defendants have refused repeated requests to open the accounting books. They also claim they have been shortchanged payments due to them from the film’s net profits and that Nolfi, Hackett and MRC have “demanded the return” of the $1.4 million fee paid in April 2009 for the movie rights.
This suit, filed in state court, comes over two months after the Trustees abandoned a previous federal case against Nolfi and MRC when the judge dismissed key claims citing lack of jurisdiction.
Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, The Adjustment Bureau, was released on March 4, 2011 to good reviews and fairly strong box office. The movie, according to today’s suit and others, has made around $128 million in global box office as well as $10 million in domestic DVD sales, plus “unknown millions in international DVD sales” as well as TV …
Beverly Hills, CA (March 12, 2012) – Media Rights Capital announced today that director David Cronenberg will direct the pilot and serve as Executive Producer on its latest television series “KNIFEMAN,” which marks his first foray into television. Cronenberg has directed such movies as Eastern Promises and The Fly. He recently wrapped filming on Cosmopolis, based on the Don De Lillo novel and starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche.
“KNIFEMAN” is written by Emmy nominated writer and producer Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights) with the story by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald (Friday Night Lights). Based on the novel by Wendy Moore, “KNIFEMAN” follows the trials and triumphs of a radical, self-educated surgeon delivering a visceral and psychological portrait of the extraordinary and unorthodox lengths he will go to uncover the secrets of the human body. This is the latest television series to come from MRC after “House of Cards”, from director and executive producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, debuts on Netflix in 2012. “KNIFEMAN” is produced by MRC with Executive Producers David Cronenberg, Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald and Sam Raimi, Josh Donen and Robert Zotnowski of Stars Road. Sentient’s Renee Tab will serve as Co-Executive Producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy is developing a TV series based on this year’s MRC/Universal Pictures movie The Adjustment Bureau, which was written, directed and produced by George Nolfi and starred Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Former Smallville executive producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin are writing the TV adaptation, which is being produced by MRC. Nolfi is executive producing with Swimmer and Slavkin, with Michael Hackett, a producer on the feature, serving as co-executive producer. The 2011 sci-fi thriller, based on Philip K. Dick’s short story Adjustment Team centered on a rising politician (Damon) whose budding romance with a dancer (Blunt) is intercepted by the Adjustment Bureau, a secret organization with special powers, which uses them to ensure that people’s lives follow the chairman of the Bureau’s plan for them. MRC doesn’t normally do traditional network development, but the deal for The Adjustment Bureau stems from the fact that Syfy is a sister network of Universal Pictures, which released the MRC-produced movie. In addition to Adjustment Bureau, WME-repped Slavkin and Swimmer also are writing a high-tech character-driven procedural for NBC and Wolf Films.
EXCLUSIVE: The long-awaited return to TV of The X-Files creator Chris Carter is close to reality. I’ve learned that Carter is set to write, direct and executive produce a mystery drama with a female lead for MRC. The company, which hopes to go straight to series on the project, is expected to start pitching the show to networks in the next few weeks. Carter had had the idea for the action series for a while and earlier this year pitched it to MRC, which has been teaming with A-list film and TV auspices. The company most recently sold the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards to Netflix with a two-season order. Since The X-Files ended its run on Fox in 2002, ICM-repped Carter has stayed largely out of the spotlight, only resurfacing to do the 2008 X-Files movie sequel and the upcoming thriller Fencewalker. There is now talk about a potential third X-Files movie.
Netflix just announced that it has acquired House of Cards, a political thriller drama series from executive producer/director David Fincher starring Kevin Spacey, which will be distributed exclusively via the company’s Internet subscription service. This marks Netflix’s first foray into original programming.
Netflix, which has more than 20 million subscribers at the moment, has committed to 26 episodes of the drama, which is being produced by Media Rights Capital. Its premiere is scheduled for almost two years from now, in late 2012. Over the next year, the show will work on the 13 scripts for its first season. Fincher, who is now busy directing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, will direct the first episode of House of Cards next spring. That episode will then be evaluated like a pilot, and adjustments will be made if needed before production on the remaining episodes commences. In the next 3-6 months, MRC is expected to assemble a team to support the big production. More from Netflix’s release:
A satirical tale of power, corruption and lies, “House of Cards” is based on the book and acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name. “The gripping, serialized one hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “David Fincher’s unique vision, the indelible performances of Kevin Spacey and the original version of “House of Cards,” all have a big following among our members, giving the series a very good chance of becoming a fan favorite.”
Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series ‘House Of Cards’
EXCLUSIVE: Video streaming juggernaut Netflix is becoming an original programming player. In what is probably the biggest gamble in its 14-year history, I hear Netflix has outbid several major cable networks, including HBO and AMC, for Media Rights Capital’s drama series House of Cards, executive produced and directed by David Fincher and exec produced by and starring Kevin Spacey.
Negotiations are still going on, but I hear Netflix landed the drama project by offering a staggering commitment of two seasons, or 26 episodes. Given that the price tag for a high-end drama is in the $4 million-$6 million an episode range and that a launch of a big original series commands tens of millions of dollars for promotion, the deal is believed to be worth more than $100 million and could change the way people consume TV shows.
Ever since Liberty Media chairman John Malone in October drew a comparison between Netfix and HBO, industry experts have speculated whether Netflix would become the next HBO by venturing into originals. HBO, too, established itself as premium cable movie channel before hitting gold with original series that have now become its bread and butter. Netflix, which dominates the movie streaming market at 61%, had said in the past that it was not interested in branching into original programming. Until now.
New York, NY (Feb. 10, 2011) – Media Rights Capital (MRC) today announced the promotion of Liz Jenkins to Vice President of Corporate Development for the independent film, television and digital studio.
Since joining the studio in 2008, Jenkins has played a critical role in helping to shape MRC’s strategic initiatives, including the five-year, 20 picture domestic distribution partnership with Universal. Jenkins has also assisted in structuring talent deals and studio sales.
EXCLUSIVE: Mark Wahlberg, who’s coming off the summer hit The Other Guys with Will Ferrell, is negotiating to star in another buddy comedy. You might think we’ve seen it all on the well trodden buddy comedy trail, but how about one with a guy and his life-size, walking-talking teddy bear? Wahlberg will star in Ted, the R-rated directorial debut of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane which Media Rights Capital committed to finance at a $65 million budget. Universal Pictures acquired it last April. Wahlberg will play an average Boston guy who’s normal except for the childhood wish he made that his teddy bear could come to life — and it did. Years later, the boy is an adult, and the bear is still his best friend. But the bear, a carousing, irresponsible slacker, is getting in the way of his buddy committing to adulthood and the girl he loves. MacFarlane will provide the voice of the bear, which will be brought to life through CG in an otherwise live action format. MacFarlane wrote the script with Family Guy cohorts Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, and they go past that racy sitcom, which is why the film will be R-rated. Ted will be produced by Scott Stuber through his Universal-based Stuber Pictures, along with MacFarlane, John Jacobs and MRC. Wahlberg, who plays Boston fighter Irish Mickey Ward in the David O Russell-directed …
UPDATE: I hear MRC now has been asked to consider Moonlight for mid-season. This is such a shot in the dark it’s barely worth posting. But I’m posting nonetheless. I’ve also been told that CBS continues to hold an option on the star of the show, Alex O’Loughlin, and that he’s in demand for other projects.
…I just heard it’s a no-go for Media Rights Capital, which is programming Sunday’s two-hour block for the CW, to pick up Moonlight. So it’s dead, gone, six feet under. The cancelled CBS show was officially offered to MRC yesterday. (It was also offered to others, but the people behind the show thought MRC was their best shot.) And there was enough of a chance of a pick-up that Warner Bros television took the unusual step of agreeing to delay its order yesterday to strike the Moonlightsets until Friday to see what happened. And a lot of lobbying and arm-twisting has gone down since then. However, first thing this morning, MRC officially passed. The reason I’m told is that MRC, rightly or wrongly, is committed to looking for fresh material, not recycled. (MRC has already semi-announced its four original shows for CW’s Sunday time slots…) But in my opinion, it’s a dumb move by MRC. Not only would Moonlight‘s ratings be a huge improvement over anything now appearing on the CW, but the company could take advantage of the awareness already built up thanks to CBS’s heavy (in other words, expensive) promotion of the show throughout this past TV …