EXCLUSIVE: Gaming veteran Keith Arem’s multiplatform content studio PCB Entertainment has signed with Principato Young Entertainment. The LA-based PCB owns a library of original properties spanning video games, graphic novels, and screenplays which Arem and Co. aim to parlay into a standalone content studio capable of doing its own financing, development, post, and marketing. Arem recently shot PCB Entertainment’s first film, marking his own first foray into film directing. Principato Young is planning a coming-out bash for their new client this week at Comic-Con. Among PCB’s slate of projects are a TV series based on its graphic novel/app/mobile experience Infex and the feature Frost Road, which is already fully financed and will be written and directed by Arem. The seasoned video game director/producer/engineer comes to filmed entertainment with seven of the top 10 games of last year under his belt, including Call Of Duty: Black Ops II and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Maggie Haskins has been promoted to manager at Principato-Young Entertainment, bringing the number of company’s managers and production executives to 23. Haskins’ promotion was announced at a PYE trainee talent show. There, under the ruse of her winning first prize, Haskins was handed her manager’s stripes and new business cards by a surprise guest, PYE client Rob Riggle, whom she worked closely with on Peter Principato’s desk. Haskins started at PYE in January of 2010, working for managers Jennie Church Cooper and Evan Cavic, before moving to work for Principato. “Maggie embodies everything we are building at PYE,” the company’s principles Principato and Paul Young said. “She is hard working, dedicated, hungry, talented and is already a great leader.” Before joining PYE, Chicago native and Brown University graduate Haskins was a reporter for Sports Illustrated College Edition and columnist for SI.com. She also was a finalist on the first season of ESPN’s reality show Dream Job.
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime WME agent and partner Randi Michel is leaving the agency to head the New York office of Principato-Young Entertainment. They are still working out the particulars regarding clients as she transitions from agent to manager, but it is expected that Sean Hayes, Queen Latifah and John Travolta will join her and remain WME clients.
Michel has been at WMA and then WME for 21 years. Aside from the clients I mentioned above, she repped Hank Azaria, Steve Buscemi, Chris Diamantopoulos, David Duchovny, Jenna Elfman, Dan Fogler, Latifah’s production company Flavor Unit Entertainment, Hayden Panettierre, Odeya Rush, Ella Travolta, and Rufus Wainwright. Michel began in the Beverly Hills office of WMA before moving to its New York office seven years ago.
“We have long admired Randi,” said Peter Principato and Paul Young. “She represents a diverse client base with originality and creativity. She’ll be an excellent leader to head our New York office.”
EXCLUSIVE: Paradigm sent out word to the entire agency last night that Cameron Kadison has left to go start a new Alternative TV division at Principato Young. His last day at Paradigm was Wednesday and he starts at the management company this Tuesday. Kadison was the No. 3 in Paradigm’s department behind No. 2 Dan Ilani and head Steve Wohl, who is looking to fill the position. Too early to tell who that might be, although tipsters think it’s an ex-ICMer. Kadison came to Paradigm from WME, leaving after the John Ferriter debacle.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired a new project and made forward progress on another that will star Johnny Knoxville, who has made the studio huge money with the Jackass films. Best of all for Knoxville, both comedies are scripted, which should spare his body at least some abuse.
The studio has preemptively bought First Man, a pitch that Matt Spicer & Max Winkler will write, with Knoxville’s Dickhouse Entertainment producing. Knoxville will play a man whose wife is elected president. A natural hellraiser, he has totally behaved himself during his wife’s presidential campaign, only to find the dynamic of their relationship changes after he moves into the White House and becomes First Man. He is prompted to return to rowdy form. Dickhouse Entertainment and Priya Swaminathan are attached to produce. Winkler wrote and directed, and Spicer produced Ceremony, which Magnolia will release April 8 with Uma Thurman, Michael Angarano and Lee Pace starring. Winkler & Spicer also scripted The Adventurers Handbook with Jonah Hill and wrote Whispers In Bedlam for Jason Reitman to direct at Fox Searchlight.
Paramount is also reconfiguring Mustache Riders, a project the studio bought in 2008. This comedy is about three small-time crooks who set off on an adventure to find a buried treasure with a grizzled old outlaw. Knoxville and his Jackass cohorts Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn [who died in a car crash since this news was posted] are attached to star along with singer Willie …
Low-budget high-concept filmmakers Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko have been set by Sony Pictures Entertainment to write and direct Wheels, a high school road movie that will be produced by Gary Sanchez Productions and Principato-Young. Gurland and Botko wrote and produced The Last Exorcism and wrote and directed The Virginity Hit for SPE.
EXCLUSIVE: Curb Your Enthusiasm co-star Cheryl Hines has signed a talent holding deal with ABC. Once the norm, such pacts are rare these days, with maybe a handful across all broadcast networks a season. Hines already has a history at ABC. She starred in the network’s short-lived comedy series In the Motherhood last year