EXCLUSIVE: Nu Image/Millennium has acquired Playing Dirty, a spec script written by Richard Blaney and Gregory Small. Mandalay Pictures’ Cathy Schulman and Adam Stone will produce, and they closed the deal with Millennium’s Mark Gill.
Millennium and Mandalay recently collaborated on the indie hit Bernie. In Playing Dirty, a young law student learns to let loose and explore his adventurous side after meeting a sexy and mysterious stranger. After some exhilarating nights of debauchery, car chases and threesomes, things go awry when the student finds himself the target of her psychotic plans. Blaney and Small previously wrote Someone In The Dark, a teenage Body Heat which is at DreamWorks with Carlos Brooks attached to direct. Original Artists made the deal for the writers, who are also repped by 59 Management. The film will be fast-tracked by Millennium, which has several plum titles at Cannes with the Lee Daniels-directed The Paperboy premiering tomorrow, as well as the Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgard pic Lovelace.
Sylvester Stallone has been sued by a writer who alleges the hit movie The Expendables copies a script and short story he filed with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2006. Marcus Webb says he then made available … Read More »
Lionsgate execs today are despondent as they try to figure out what went wrong for Conan The Barbarian to only earn a dismal $10.5M from 3,015 theaters. “It’s one of those weekends that gives me a stomach ache,” one Lionsgate exec told me Friday night. “It’s a headscratcher, but it won’t kill us.” But they also know that with Carl Icahn back breathing down Lionsgate’s mane by buying up company shares, and the annual stockholders meeting scheduled for Sept. 13, this is a really lousy time for this secondary studio to have such a box office bomb. Over the last two weeks, Icahn has acquired 756,840 shares in Lionsgate, growing his ownership to 33.2% from 32.6%, presumably in his so-far-unsuccessful effort to gift his son Brent with a Hollywood studio. Last year, Icahn tried but failed to seize control and, after a brief respite, he’s trying yet again, all the while carping about Lionsgate’s profligate management and moviemaking strategy. Here’s more ammunition for him. First off, being in business with Avi Lerner’s Nu Image/Millennium film company is a dicey proposition at best. Especially when this reboot cost nearly $90M, which makes this weekend’s opening disastrous even if Lionsgate’s exposure was mitigated by the co-production and co-release. Not even spreading the buzz that previous Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger was treated to a private screening and “really liked it” helped box office, which didn’t come near to even Lionsgate’s low-ball expectation of $15M from a wide release. Read More »
Exclusive: The Film Department Shutters
LOS ANGELES, CA — Former Miramax Films and Warner Independent president Mark Gill has been named President of Millennium Films. The company plans to produce and finance five to eight star-driven, wide-release films per year with budgets between $20 and $80 million.
Gill will work closely with Nu Image/Millennium Films toppers Avi Lerner and Trevor Short and development head Boaz Davidson, starting in July, with particular focus on development, packaging, production and marketing.
Gill has 25 years of film business experience and a production track record of more than $1 billion at the box office.
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Nu Image/Millennium has committed to a March start date for Playing the Field, the Gabriele Muccino-directed film that will star Gerard Butler. In the Robbie Fox-scripted comedy, Butler plays a retired world famous soccer star who tries to rebuild a … Read More »