EXCLUSIVE: Hoping to tap a new vein in the young adult vampire genre that made Twilight Saga such a global hit, Reliance Entertainment and IM Global are co-financing the first installment of a new film franchise based on the six-volume Richelle Mead young adult novel series that will come to the screen as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Daniel Waters, who wrote the iconic Sundance black comedy Heathers, has written the script for the first movie. His brother, Mean Girls helmer Mark Waters, will direct the film. Casting is in full swing for a summer shoot.
An international search led the producers to Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Australian newcomer Lucy Fry. They will play lead characters Rose and Lissa alongside Russian star Danila Kozlovski (We Are From The Future,) who will play the role of Dimitri.
The film will be produced by Michael Preger and his Preger Entertainment banner, Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Susan Montford, and Kintop Pictures’ Deepak Nayer. IM Global’s Stuart Ford is executive producer.
All six books have been bestsellers on The New York Times young adult list since the series debuted in 2007. Two of the books have been turned into graphic novels. The books tell the tale of Rose Hathaway, a 17-year-old girl who has a mental and spiritual bond with her vampire best friend Lissa. The two girls attend a special school for Vampires who struggle … Read More »
Anil Ambani’s sprawling Indian conglomerate Reliance and China’s Wanda Group have announced plans to create long-term joint ventures in cinema exhibition in India and the United States, Reuters reports. Plans also call for Reliance and Wanda to build real estate projects in India involving a combined area of about 20 million square feet across a pair of locations in Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad. Wanda Group earlier this year became the world’s biggest owner of movie theaters when it acquired U.S. chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion. It has about 1,000 screens in China and 5,890 in the U.S. from AMC. Wanda says it plans to spend $10 billion in North America over the next decade. Reliance currently operates 254 screens in India and 170 screens across the U.S., according to Film Business Asia. Reliance also has invested in DreamWorks Studios and has backed a 10-episode pirate project for NBC. Wanda Cinema Circuit was yesterday named Exhibitor of the Year at the annual CineAsia convention in Hong Kong. Reliance’s facilities and post-production unit Mediaworks recently partnered with China’s Galloping Horse to acquire the U.S. effects house Digital Domain. Mediaworks has a 30% stake and Galloping Horse 70%.
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EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: So far, Reliance has been known in Hollywood for its film investments, primarily as financier of Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios. Now the Indian media giant is venturing into American television, backing a new 10-episode pirate series for NBC eyed for a March premiere, which will likely be announced at the network’s upfront presentation Monday. I’ve learned that NBC is finalizing a deal for a straight-to-series order to the period drama, which will be produced by Georgeville Television, an independent TV studio formed recently by producer and former Heyday Films executive Marc Rosen (Harry Potter), and Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment. GVTV, which has operated quietly for the past three months, has the capability to fully-finance major network and cable scripted series, with Republic Of Pirates being its first project.
Luther creator Neil Cross is nearing a deal to write the project and executive produce it with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The drama was originally set up at NBC last June under Parkes/MacDonald Prods’ first-look deal with the network. It became the first drama buy for then-new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt and his team last summer, with Jim Hart and Amanda Wells brought in to write it. Cross will now write the project under his recently inked overall deal with Universal TV. The series is based on the book The Republic Of Pirates by Colin Woodard. Set during the 10-year “Golden Age of Piracy” from 1715 to 1725, it follows some of the world’s most notorious pirates as they forge their own rogue nation, called New Providence, which became the first democracy in the Americas. Read More »
BBC Earth and Reliance Big Entertainment will be partnering on a trio of film titles including the $65 million-budgeted Walking With Dinosaurs 3D, a continuation of the popular series that was first broadcast in 1999. The film will be co-directed by Pierre De Lespinois of Evergreen Films. Reliance’s international arm IM Global will come on board to distribute on all three titles. The second project is Africa 3D, also in partnership with Evergreen Films, which will be filmed alongside the upcoming TV series Africa. The third is Life, currently in post-production and slated for release in 2011. Life is inspired by the TV series of the same name which has already been broadcast in 50 countries. BBC Earth is the global brand for all the BBC’s natural history content. Reliance Big Entertainment has amassed partnerships with several marquee Hollywood names, including Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Chris Columbus, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jay Roach, Brett Ratner, Julia Roberts and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment. IM Global was founded in March 2007 by former Miramax International head Stuart Ford.
EXCLUSIVE: Steven Spielberg has committed to next direct Robopocalypse, a Drew Goddard-scripted adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson epic novel about the human race’s attempt to survive an apocalyptic robot uprising. Deadline broke the story that Spielberg was eyeing the novel as a directing vehicle last March, before he instead chose War Horse as the first film he directed for DreamWorks since Spielberg and Stacey Snider left Paramount and made a deal with Reliance and a distribution deal at Disney. At that time, the novel wasn’t finished, but Spielberg was so excited about it that it was already being storyboarded and designed as Wilson was turning in pages of the book and Goddard was translating them into the screenplay. Spielberg will start shooting in January, 2012 and Disney’s Touchstone will distribute in 2013. It puts Spielberg back into the large scale terrain that is important in his relationship with Reliance, because it is the kind of movie that can succeed on a global tent pole scale. Spielberg has two pictures he directed that are in post-production, Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn will be distributed in the U.S. on December 28, 2011 with War Horse following 5 days later. This might seem like a lot of action for one director, but remember, this is Steven Spielberg, and he has multi-tasked successfully before. Like when he shot Jurassic Park … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Here is what happens when Steven Spielberg plucks you out of obscurity to play the lead in his next film. Jeremy Irvine, who makes his feature film debut as the lead in the Spielberg-directed War Horse, has signed with Spielberg’s agency, CAA. Irvine began his career at The National Youth Theatre and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His stage credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2010 production of Dunsinane. CAA will rep him along with UK-based Hatton, McEwan. Irvine plays a young man whose horse is conscripted for WWI battlefield duty. He sets out to reunite with his cherished animal. The film, based on Michael Morpugo’s novel and Nick Stafford’s stage adaptation, is Spielberg’s first for DreamWorks since it relaunched with Reliance and a Disney distribution deal.