EXCLUSIVE: Novelist Jenny Han’s YA book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is en route to the big screen just two months after it hit shelves.
Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment has picked up rights to the NY Times bestseller about high schooler Lara Jean Song, who writes love letters to the five boys she’s ever loved and keeps them locked away in a hatbox until the day her letters are mailed, upending her real-life love life. Adapting the book will be writer Annie Neal, who made the Black List last year with her script Beauty Queen, about an unhappily married woman who road trips to Vegas with her bestie to compete in the Miss Married America competition. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Television has sold its second major broadcast project, this time on the comedy side. The company has teamed with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment for a half-hour comedy at Fox, which will star top South African comedian Trevor Noah. The project, inspired by Noah’s comedy and life, is being written by Sameer Gardezi, who will executive produce along with LEG’s Norm Aladjem and Randy Chalawsky, and Overbrook’s Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett, brother of Pinkett Smith. Noah will produce. Noah’s comedy draws on his experience growing up in Soweto as the son of a Swiss father and South African mother and reflects his observations on race and ethnicity (check out a clip below). A popular comic on the African continent where he has sold more DVDs than any other stand-up, Noah has been crossing over to the U.S. Last year, he became the first South African comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and has since also appeared on The Late Show. His U.S. comedy special, African American, is currently airing on Showtime. Read More »
The tie-up is a non-exclusive pact that will see Virgin Produced have the option to co-finance, co-produce and co-market a sequel to Columbia’s dystopian sci-fi pic with Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook. That’s of course if a sequel is warranted after the pic’s May 31 release. The deal means Virgin will also support the upcoming tentpole starring Smith and his son Jaden Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, with those initiatives to be announced soon. The companies said that going forward they will look to develop film and TV properties together, in which Virgin Produced would co-produce and market across its expansive global platforms. In After Earth, a crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help. Those themes of family and Earth’s vulnerability drew the companies together. “As a company, we saw the opportunity to team up with one of the industry’s leading film and television production companies that also embraces this mission”, Virgin co-founder Jason Felts said in the deal announcement. “That’s why we’re excited to partner with Overbrook on future films.”
EXCLUSIVE: With Biblical epics the rage in Hollywood, here’s another. Will Smith is eyeing a film about battling brothers Cain and Abel as his directorial debut. The project is set at Sony in development and is being produced by Overbrook Entertainment. This has been in the arsenal for some time, and won’t be Smith’s next film, but it is an intriguing development for the actor and producer. The project has gone under the working title of The Redemption Of Cain, but I’ve confirmed that it’s now being developed as directing vehicle for Smith, who’ll likely star in the film as well.
This comes as Darren Aronofsky starts production with Russell Crowe on Noah, and both Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott have Moses projects percolating.
Related: Paul Verhoeven Finds Backing And A Writer For Controversial Jesus Christ Movie
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has closed deals with Akiva Goldsman and Overbrook Entertainment to produce another installment of I Am Legend, the 2007 hit film. The intention is for Will Smith to reprise his role as scientist Robert Neville, who was the last man on Earth doing battle with a mutated mob in New York City after an apocalyptic man-made virus wiped out the population. A deal was made with Arash Amel to write the script. The film is not being called a prequel, which had been rumored for the past few years. But clearly Warner Bros sees more room to roam on a film that grossed $584 million worldwide. The original film is based on the novel by Richard Matheson. Read More »
2ND UPDATE, 12:25 AM: First there was the $35,800-per-person fundraising dinner tonight with Will Smith hosted by his Overbrook Entertainment producing partner and manager James Lassiter. Then President Obama headed over to the home of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith for a somewhat lower-key event aimed at Latino supporters. He was introduced by Eva Longoria who said Obama “knows he’s the president of all Americans” and that “we thank you for everything you’re doing.” Obama leaves town after Tuesday’s Jay Leno taping.
UPDATE (correcting misidentification), 8:01 p.m.: This evening’s Los Angeles traffic snarl at rush hour was just that much worse because President Barack Obama arrived at LAX on board Air Force One at 4:30 PM. He’s attending two Hollywood political fundraisers for the Democratic Party tonight, first at producer James Lassiter’s mansion and then Melanie Griffith’s and Antonio Banderas’ home. Potus will be making a Tonight Show appearance with Jay Leno tomorrow before jetting out of town. According to the White House pool report, Obama first helicoptered to a landing zone in Brentwood and the motorcade made an “off-the-record” visit to Roscoe’s chicken and waffle house. The president ordered at the counter for himself (and nearby aides) the No. 9 “Country Boy” – 3 wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries ($8.90). He then started chatting with diners. I say who cares if you like Obama’s politics or not: he’s got good taste when it comes to LA’s favorite eats.
Then the motorcade traveled to Hancock Park for the first fundraiser hosted by Lassiter, who is Will Smith’s production partner in Overbrook Entertainment which manages the entire Pinkett-Smith family. Here is the pool report written by the Los Angeles Times‘ Peter Nicholas: Read More »
Screenwriter John Hlavin has been set by Sony Pictures to write Risk, a contemporary global action thriller based on the venerable board game. Pic is a co-production between Hasbro Entertainment and Overbrook Entertainment, and the producers are Brian Goldner, Bennett Schneir and James Lassiter. Hlavin has written on The Shield, and his original script The Gunslinger for Warner Bros made the Black List. He scripted Underworld: New Dawn for Paramount, which will release early next year, and turned in a heist script to Steve Zaillian’s Film Rites and DreamWorks. Risk was created by Albert Lamorisse, the French director of The Red Balloon in 1957. He called it La Conquete du Monde (The Conquest of the World). It was brought to the US by Parker Brothers two years later as Risk. Will the fact it was invented by a moviemaker keep Deadline commenters from sarcastically demanding new projects like Gnip Gnop: The Movie, the way they always do when I write about a board game transfer? We’ll know soon enough. Hlavin’s repped by UTA and Management 360.
Hasbro has set most of its film action at Universal, including the Peter Berg-directed Battleship and Stretch Armstrong.
Paramount Pictures closed a deal to acquire Wheeler Dealers, a pitch for a drama that will be written by Michael Lerner. It’s based on the true story of a group of Miami twenty-somethings who landed a $300 million Pentagon contract to acquire massive stockpiles of old Chinese ammunition that wound up being sent to supply the Afghan army. The film will be produced by Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment and Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment.
The actual Miami gunrunner, Efraim Diveroli, was sentenced to four years in prison. The episode created a scandal on Capitol Hill because the Pentagon contract was awarded to Diveroli’s company despite the face both were reportedly on the State Department’s Arms Trafficking Watchlist. Lerner’s repped by ICM, Anonymous Content and attorney Linda Lichter. Lerner last month sold the spec Game Theory to Summit Entertainment, with Temple Hill, Alex Goldstone and Adam Shulman producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment and The Proposal writer Pete Chiarelli are behind a series adaptation of the hit 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, which has several networks bidding on it. Chiarelli will pen the series project, described as an action-packed one-hour, for Sony Pictures TV. The movie, which Overbrook co-produced with Sony’s Columbia Pictures, starred Smith as a date doctor. This marks the TV debut for Chiarelli who also is penning Most Wanted, an upcoming action comedy, which reunites him with The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and director Anne Fletcher. Overbrook and Sony TV first took a stab at adapting Hitch to series 3 seasons ago when it was developed as a half-hour single-camera comedy written by Ben Wexler that was set up at CBS but didn’t go to pilot.
EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has attached himself to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist. Smith will play Cain, the original Bad Boy, and he will produce with Overbrook Entertainment partners Jada Pinkett Smith (his wife), James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz. The script was written by Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf, with Andrea Berloff revising. No studio or director yet for the Overbrook project. The production company is coming off The Karate Kid, which has so far grossed more that. $210 million worldwide. Smith is currently promoting that film internationally and in August he begins filming Men In Black 3.