EXCLUSIVE: The CW has put in development Red, a Western/sci-fi drama from The Mentalist creator/executive producer Bruno Heller and the series’ executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi. Written by Szentgyorgyi, Red is described as a neo-Western drama about the first human settlement on Mars and life on this new frontier, centering on the relationships between the town’s female sheriff, a doctor and a criminal. WME-repped Szentgyorgyi and Heller executive produce for Warner Bros. TV where Heller is under an overall deal.
EXCLUSIVE: After scripting Red and seeing it hit as an action comedy built around an aging cast, Jon and Erich Hoeber have been set by Summit Entertainment for another action comedy. This one doesn’t have a title, but I’m told it’s a female-centric Ocean’s Eleven-esque action film that originally was set up as a pitch by David Weisberg & Douglas Cook.
The scribes also wrote the Red sequel, which brings back the original cast and adds Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and David Thewlis to the mix. As for the untitled action comedy, it’s produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Benderspink exec producing. Verve reps the scribes.
Here’s something you won’t see every day on Deadline. A reader pointed us to the 20-minute short Loom written and directed by Luke Scott, son of Ridley and nephew of Tony. It features Giovanni Ribisi and Jellybean Howie, and Dariusz Wolski is the cinematographer:
For access to a higher resolution version, visit the RED forum link here.
Lionsgate is looking at converting several movies into TV series — including, I’m told, the 2010 action film about a team of mercenaries. It wasn’t on CEO Jon Feltheimer’s list this morning, though, when he briefly discussed synergy plans in a conference call with Wall Street analysts following the company’s release last night of its fiscal Q4 results. Feltheimer says he’s also considering making series from Red and Step Up, film franchises acquired with the recent purchase of Summit Entertainment. Speaking of the deal, Feltheimer noted that Lionsgate’s $500M term loan to fund it “will be paid down on schedule” and its debt will be “significantly reduced.” One of the main reasons for that, of course, is the huge success of The Hunger Games. Due to the timing of the release in March at the end of the studio’s fiscal Q4, about 90% of the profits have yet to be reported. That made Feltheimer confident enough to report that Lionsgate “will generate approximately $900 million in EBITDA over the next three years.”
In a move that’s not exactly surprising, Summit Entertainment brought back Jon and Erich Hoeber to write another installment of Red, the overachieving Robert Schwentke-directed action film that had been widely spurned around town because studios were nervous building such a film around an AARP-aged cast. Insiders at Summit confirm a report that the scribes have made a deal, though Schwentke and stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Mary Louise Parker still have to be dealt with.
At the same time, Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly told Austrian publication Krone he’s already trying to get his film career on track and is looking for age-appropriate roles. “In the future I have to adapt my roles to my age. Clint Eastwood also has done it in the same way. Extreme fighting or shooting is not possible anymore.” Ah-nuld is resuscitating two projects he has held onto since the 1990s. One is With Wings As Eagles, which Randall Wallace wrote based on his father-in-law’s recollection of a German soldier ordered to execute American prisoners in WWII who instead helped them escape. It’s similar to the good-Nazi terrain Tom Cruise covered in Valkyrie. Schwarzenegger almost got it made before calling off to take time off for a health issue in the late 1990s. The other script drawing speculation is Crusade, a pricey period pic with a script by Walon Green …
Here is a short scene from Red, the Robert Schwentke-directed action film that Summit Entertainment releases October 15. The cast is top-notch, and whether she’s playing royalty or an assassin, Helen Mirren continues to dazzle.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Should they have called this, BATTLE: L.A., since it was actually shot in Louisiana, and that would provide plausible deniability? Regardless, the look being strived for here is obviously BLACK HAWK DOWN meets DISTRICT 9. Aaron Eckhart leads an army team to find survivors in a besieged Los Angeles that has been bombarded by alien artillery fire. He has three hours to get in and out before the U.S. Military’s bombs drop (implied, but not said in the clip, is that these bombs will be nuclear).
THURSDAY, JULY 22
The Real Start Day Of The Con
Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:
10:00-11:00 AM: DreamWorks Animation: Megamind. I can’t say the posters for this new 3-D animated movie starring Will Ferrell were particularly appealing. A hybrid Smurf-Martian thing with a goatee, and, one imagines, Ferrell doing the same voice he always does? Not super-exciting. But the recently released trailer made things look up a bit – Ferrell’s character is the last son of a dying planet like Krypton, who learns in short order that a far more Superman-like character (Brad Pitt) has a similar story, and made it to Earth first. Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill will be in attendance, and there are rumors Pitt may even make a surprise appearance, but don’t hold us to that. Hall H
10:30-11:30 AM: Danny Elfman. Everybody loves Danny Elfman. Right? Even if you think that faux-lullabye-over-brooding thing he does has gotten stale, I guarantee that you love at least one soundtrack he’s done, whether it be the TALES FROM THE CRYPT intro, 1989 BATMAN theme, those infernal NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS songs, or my personal fave, the PE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE music. It’s been 25 years since that movie teamed him with Tim Burton for the first time, so instead of sending him an anniversary card, you can just show up here and listen to him speak. Room 6BCF
10:30-11:30 AM: TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies. Considering there isn’t …
Summit Entertainment joins the phalanx of studios bringing film footage and star casts to the geek altar that is Comic-Con. Summit, which for the past two years has brought its Twilight Saga cast to the event, this time herds the cast of its two upcoming action offerings, Red and Drive Angry 3D. Red stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban and Mary Louise Parker, director Robert Schwentke and graphic novel writer Warren Ellis will debut the film’s trailer and appear on a panel on July 22. The following day, Summit will assemble the Drive Angry 3D cast of Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner and director Patrick Lussier will debut footage from the 3D shot film about a vengeful father who hunts down the people who killed his family.
Among the other studios that are planning big events at Comic-Con, Disney is highlighting Tron Legacy, and is expected to mount a big spectacle (last year they recreated Flynn’s Arcade, which figured in the original film and the sequel); Sony will make a fuss about The Green Hornet; Warner Bros is expected to vamp the Zack Snyder-directed Sucker Punch and Harry Potter; Universal will be pressing the case for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World; Paramount has the Marvel Studios pic Thor. DreamWorks Animation is expected to show something from Megamind, and other studios are still making last minute plans for the San Diego event that begins July 21.