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Oren Moverman To Script Terrorist Hunter Drama For Sony Pictures And Scott Rudin

By | Tuesday August 9, 2011 @ 5:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oren Moverman, who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed The Messenger and followed it with the upcoming LAPD cop drama Rampart, is signing to adapt The Terrorist Search Engine for Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin. The film was set up recently as a potential star vehicle for Rudin’s The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg, based on a New York Magazine profile of a baby-faced counter-terrorism expert witness named Evan Kohlmann. Kohlmann was called “the Doogie Howser of terrorism” for his penchant for culling through jihadist videos, communiques and websites to unearth terror threats from all over the globe.

By the time he was 23, Kohlmann’s convincing testimony led to the conviction of nearly two dozen defendants on terrorist charges. The profile, written by Wesley Yang, made clear that even years later, Kohlmann was a controversial figure because he made his living as a convenient witness for government lawyers looking for convictions. Moverman is writing with an eye toward directing, though the studio says that his deal right now is just to turn in a script. WME reps Moverman.

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ICM Notches Two TV Deals For New York Magazine Articles

By | Wednesday July 27, 2011 @ 4:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

A month after ICM signed New York Magazine to try and whip up some TV and movie action for the weekly’s feature articles, Sony Television has acquired two articles for potential telepics. Sony optioned: A Serial Killer in Common, about the Long Island serial killer whose victims began being discovered right off a desolate beach road, and the families who have bonded over the search for the killer and the question of who their sisters really were; and Paw Paw and Lady Love, an article by Dan Lee that looked back at late pop culture icon Anne Nicole Smith, a life and death that played out in front of the cameras, and the Supreme Court case that finally settled the issue of her marriage to a 90-year old billionaire. The court finally ruled that Smith’s estate was not eneitled to the $475 million inheritance that had been awarded to her while she was alive. ICM has optioned over 30 articles for TV and film for The New York Times since signing the newspaper as a client.

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ICM Signs To Rep New York Magazine Articles For Film And Television

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After brokering over 30 film and TV option deals for articles from The New York Times since signing the daily as a client, ICM has just signed New York Magazine. It will rep the magazine in all areas to broaden its reach in Hollywood. Under the tenure of editor-in-chief Adam Moss, the magazine is a good read and has won 17 National Magazine Awards. Much like The Times does, New York Mag will share in the revenue and would receive credit in any film made from its articles. There is a wide gulf between an option deal and an actual film, but more and more publications have been getting in on the action over the past several years. Some prominent writers are able to retain screen rights, and they still have agents make deals that the publications don’t share.

New York Magazine does have a track record for articles on Gotham-centric subjects being turned into films.  The TV series Taxi was based on Mark Jacobson’s article Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet; the John Travolta-starrer Saturday Night Fever was hatched from Nik Cohn’s article Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night; Goodfellas came from a Nicholas Pileggi article based on the book Wiseguy; American Gangster came from Jacobson’s feature The Return of Superfly; and Grey Gardens was in part inspired by … Read More »

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Frank Rich Leaves New York Times For New York Magazine

By | Tuesday March 1, 2011 @ 7:28am PST
Mike Fleming

The competition for writers between New York Magazine and The New York Times has taken a dramatic turn: New York Magazine editor Adam Moss has poached Frank Rich, the former theater critic who was one of the most important editorial voices at the newspaper. The magazine announced its Rich “get” this morning. He’d been an Times’ op-ed columnist since 1994. When he was drama critics from 1980 to 1993, a withering review from Rich would serve as a Broadway show’s epitaph because his opinion mattered that much. Rich has also had a relationship with HBO. He has been involved in several development projects. He’s an exec producer on Veep, which goes into production this week, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing the Vice President of the United States. The half-hour  show, written by Armando Ianucci, focused on the role of veep and how little power she actually has and how frustrated she is by it. Before the Rich move, sparring between the publications was focused on wrangling contributors from The New York Times Magazines as former Timesman Moss has worked to improve NY Mag’s content. Here’s the official announcement:

New York, NY, March 1, 2011—New York Magazine editor-in-chief Adam Moss announced today that Frank Rich will be joining the magazine, beginning in June. Rich will be an essayist for the magazine, writing monthly on politics and culture, and serve as an editor-at-large, editing a special monthly section anchored by his essay. He

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