“You may think there are things these people are simply incapable of — there are not.” Brad Pitt speaks that ominous line in the new international teaser trailer for Ridley Scott‘s follow-up to last year’s Prometheus. The Counselor follows a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who wades into treacherous waters when he gets involved in the drug trade. The Fox 2000 thriller written by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) also stars Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, John Leguizamo and Goran Visnjic. It’s produced by Scott, Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz. Fox releases the pic, titled The Counsellor in the UK, on October 25:
The original series executive produced by Ridley Scott‘s Scott Free Prods. will focus on a single major news event considered shocking at the time. It will debut Sunday, June 23 at 9 PM ET as a lead-in to the Morgan Spurlock docu-series Inside Man, which also premieres June 23. Each of the eight episodes of Crime Of The Century focuses on archived and never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews with witnesses, victims, and investigators of the crimes, offering viewers a virtual scene-of-the-crime vantage point. The premiere episode focuses on the 2001 Washington D.C. sniper attack. The John Lennon killing, the Andrea Yates murders, the Reagan assassination attempt, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Amanda Knox story, the Waco siege and the Unabomber case also will be featured. Crimes of the Century will re-air the same night at 12 midnight, again at 3 AM ET, and several other times during subsequent weekends.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 31, 2013, 3:30 pm, EST—Writer Michael Green is in negotiations to do a rewrite of Alcon Entertainment’s “Blade Runner” sequel penned by Hampton Fancher (“Blade Runner,” “The Minus Man,” “The Mighty Quinn”) and to be directed by Ridley Scott. Fancher’s original story/screenplay is set some years after the first film concluded.
Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Green recently completed rewrites on “Robopocalypse” and Warners Bros “Gods and Kings.”
Alcon and Yorkin previously announced that they are partnering to produce “Blade Runner” theatrical sequels and prequels, in addition to all television and interactive productions.
RSA has hired Arrow Kruse to be an executive producer at Ridley Scott’s commercials production company, running the Branded Content, Digital and Entertainment division. He is currently overseeing the RSA/Machinima partnership for RSA president Jules Daly and Ridley Scott. Said Daly, “I am thrilled to have Arrow onboard at RSA as we continue the company’s legacy of innovative work — creating new definitions and platforms to deliver branded content that pushes the boundaries of expectations. Arrow’s extensive experience with reinventing and expanding global campaigns, and establishing new brands makes him the perfect fit for us here”.
EXCLUSIVE: Scott Free Productions has hired Indian Paintbrush executive Michael Pruss to be senior vice president of Production. Scott Free has separately promoted production executive Elishia Holmes to senior vice president of Production. Both report to Scott Free President Michael Schaefer. Pruss joins Scott Free from Indian Paintbrush where he served as vice president and oversaw the acquisition of the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy at the 2011 Sundance Festival. He co-produced the director’s followup, Breathe In, which will be released in the fall. Pruss also developed A Murder Foretold with Chris Terrio, The Signal with Brad Ingelsby, Off The Grid with Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers and he is a producer on Hold On To Me, the James Marsh-directed thriller that stars Carey Mulligan and Robert Pattinson. Before that he was a Focus Features exec who worked on Milk, The American and Coraline. He was raised in London.
Holmes has been a rising star at Scott Free, where she is part of the team working on the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44 with Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman, with production beginning June 10. She is an exec producer of that film and is working on the J. Blakeson-directed Wool, as well as the mammoth Moses movie Exodus at Fox and the Blade Runner sequel at Alcon Entertainment, both of which will be directed by Scott Free principal Ridley Scott. She joined Scott Free …
Cannes Briefs: Epic’s ‘Thale’ Sequel; Osiris’ ‘The Kill Hole’; Darclight’s ‘Contracted’; Simon Cowell’s ‘Pudsey’; Ridley Scott’s ‘Get Santa’; More
Refresh for latest…
Epic Sets English-Language ‘Thale’ Sequel
Epic Pictures is partnering with Norway’s Yesbox Productions to finance and produce an English-language sequel to Norwegian thriller Thale. The sequel will be written and directed by Thale‘s Aleksander Nordaas. Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson are producing alongside Bendik Heggen Strønstad of Yesbox. Thale appeared in Toronto and SXSW last year and told the story of two crime-scene cleaners who discover a tailed female creature in a concealed cellar who has been held captive for decades. Thale was based on a mythical character in Nordic folklore called the “huldra,” a beautiful creature with female attributes that is said to seduce men by humming a beautiful song, but the men never return to their villages. Epic’s Patrick Ewald says the budget will be upped for the sequel “so that Aleksander and Bendik’s vision can be accomplished on a grand scale.”
Hoping to piggyback on the success of National Geographic Channel‘s take on Bill O’Reilly’s best-seller Killing Lincoln, the network is again partnering with Ridley Scott and O’Reilly on Killing Jesus: A History, O’Reilly’s recently announced book that he co-authored with Martin Dugard. The book will be published by Henry Holt and Company on September 24. Today’s announcement comes as the network is in pre-production on O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy: The End Of Camelot expected to air worldwide on Nat Geo Channels later this year. “I am thrilled to once again be partnering with National Geographic Channels and Scott Free Productions on my next book,” said O’Reilly. “Jesus is the most famous person that has ever lived — and is worshipped today by more than 2.2 billion people”. Killing Jesus tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary brutally killed by Roman soldiers and recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and the changes that his life brought upon the world for the centuries to follow. “O’Reilly has proven with Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy that the public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and this is one of the most dramatic stories ever told. We are privileged to once again work with National Geographic Channel to bring Bill’s vision to the screen,” said Scott. Production is set to begin this fall. Click over to read today’s release.
EXCLUSIVE: Don’t consider this etched in stone yet, but it looks like Fox is putting a rush on the Moses movie it has been developing with Ridley Scott. I’m hearing that the director and studio are courting Christian Bale to star. The project is called Exodus, which was originally scripted by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Peter Chernin and his Chernin Entertainment bought the film as a pitch and they are producing with Scott and his Scott Free, which joined later. Now it has become a big priority after Steve Zaillian signed on to do a rewrite. Zaillian teamed with Scott on American Gangster. Scott is looking to mobilize this as soon as he completes The Counselor. The talks with Bale are early stage.
This comes as Warner Bros deals with Steven Spielberg dropping out of its mega-Moses project, Gods And Kings, the epic-sized film about life of Moses based on the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. The studio’s Hail Mary pass is trying to secure the services of Ang Lee, fresh from his Oscar win for Life Of Pi.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline scooped the news today that Safety Not Guaranteed helmer Colin Trevorrow landed the plum gig of Jurassic Park 4, a move which could catapult him to the director A-list. There is a lot of movement going on among directors that will reverberate depending on who takes what job.
First up, Steven Spielberg has ended his long flirtation with directing Gods And Kings, the epic-sized Warner Bros film about life of Moses based on the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. That puts Warner Bros in a bind because of the rival Moses project, the Adam Cooper/Bill Collage-scripted Exodus, which is gathering steam at Fox, with Ridley Scott looking to mobilize that as soon as he completes The Counselor. But Warner Bros is now out to Ang Lee, who just won the Best Director Oscar for Life Of Pi. I’m told he’s intrigued with the project but hasn’t had a formal meeting on the script. Imagine what either director can do with that subject matter, and with the ratings on History Channel’s The Bible miniseries, the audience is certainly there. Spielberg hasn’t dropped the project for another; while he postponed his next film Robopocalypse, he hasn’t replaced it with anything as he continues to develop that robot pic. Spielberg also recently told French TV he’s developing a Napoleon miniseries for TV based on Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay and research. for
EXCLUSIVE: Ridley Scott and his commercials production company RSA will team with Machinima to produce 12 short films that will focus on science fiction content that might be grown into feature franchises. Machinima is the top global video entertainment network for males aged 18-34, reaching more than 2.6 billion views monthly. It is the top-rated entertainment channel on YouTube.
Despite turning 75, Scott continues to have an appetite for cutting-edge stuff and emerging technologies. He won’t direct any of these short films but will be a hands-on executive producer with RSA president Jules Daly. With Machinima, they will select directing clients of RSA and figure out what stories to tell.
Machinima has provided a strong springboard for genre content on the web. The network distributed Mortal Kombat: Legacy, which revived the moribund Mortal Kombat franchise. It started with a short film and is now in its second season and led to a feature film in development. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn premiered last fall and the series has received more than 3.2 million views.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox is wrapping up a deal for Kieran Fitzgerald to write the script for a reality-based disaster movie loosely inspired by the BBC faux-documentary The Day Britain Stopped. It will be developed as a potential directing vehicle for Ridley Scott.
Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian & Garrett Basch are producing with Scott Free’s Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Elishia Holmes. Kira Goldberg is overseeing for the studio. Fitzgerald is currently adapting The Tiger for Plan B and Focus. He garnered attention for his script Bambi, based on the life of former CIA agent Luis Posada. He’s repped by CAA.
Talk about perfect timing. For several years, House executive producer Paul Attanasio and Sony TV had been working on a show set at the Vatican. They pitched it to Showtime last fall and, after months of discussions, the pay cable network greenlighted the project to pilot in the final days of 2012 with Ridley Scott attached to direct in his pilot directing debut. With Attanasio and Scott on board, Vatican already appeared a formidable contender for a series pickup. Then lightning struck — literally. On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, thrusting the inner workings of the Vatican into the spotlight. Hours later, a lightning bolt struck the Vatican’s St Peter’s Basilica, which perfectly illustrates what the odds are of real events mirroring a fictional TV show.
As conceived, Vatican is a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Like Pope Benedict, the show’s fictional Pope Sixtus VI hails from Bavaria. Attanasio’s script even makes a fleeting mention of the Pope resigning. While I hear the reference is just a point in an argument, it is getting attention because of Benedict’s …
The miniseries adaptation of The Man In The High Castle was originally announced as a project back in 2010. At the time, the four-parter based on Philip K Dick‘s novel, was to be a Headline Pictures/Electric Shepherd/Scott Free production for the BBC, scripted by British playwright Howard Brenton and sold internationally by FremantleMedia. Some of the puzzle pieces have since shifted. Syfy said today it has sealed a deal to adapt the Hugo Award-winning tome with Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Hunted) attached to write and exec produce. Ridley Scott’s Scott Free will produce with Headline, Electric Shepherd Productions (the production arm of Dick’s estate) and FremantleMedia International. Producers are Ridley Scott and Stewart Mackinnon. Spotnitz will write the first two hours and supervise the writing of the second two hours, Syfy said today.
Dick’s novel is an alternate history story set in a world in which Nazi Germany and Japan were victorious in the second World War. The year is 1962 and the Axis Powers occupy the U.S., where fascism rules and the few surviving Jews hide under assumed names. Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was adapted from Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
EXCLUSIVE: As part of CNN‘s efforts to broaden its viewership with news-related programming that would appeal to wider audiences, the network has acquired the non-fiction series Crimes Of The Century, executive produced by director-producer Ridley Scott. It will air on weekends later this year.
Each episode of Crimes Of The Century examines a major news event – from the Madoff scandal to the Oklahoma City bombing — using a cinematic approach associated with a Ridley Scott production. With a visual style that includes CGI and animation, the series places the viewer at the scene of the crime employing never-before-scene footage and interviews with witnesses, victims, and investigators of crimes that became part of the Zeitgeist. Scott executive produces the series along with David Zucker and Mary Lisio of Scott Free Prods. Vinnie Malhotra, SVP of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide called the acquisition “another step in our mission to broaden the scope of programming on CNN.” He called Crimes Of The Century “an expertly-produced, captivating series that delves deeply into some of the most fascinating news events of our day that demand further scrutiny.” Crimes Of The Century is among several CNN non-fiction series acquisitions to air weekends on CNN, including Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock‘s Inside Man.
On its fourth day, the Sundance Film Festival is wall to wall with some of Hollywood’s best known actors and actresses — and we don’t mean the ones who show up just to party hop. While the festival can be a great launching pad for emerging filmmakers, Park City has never been shy about letting the already well known show their wares there too. It was created by Robert Redford after all. This year sees a number of famous faces and names get behind the camera with new films. As buyers begin to dig in, expect to see these marquee names generating some serious interest as they play out of their regular position. And then there’s the plethora of Oscar winners and nominees, blockbuster and TV stars and indie superstars in front of the camera — check out our comprehensive list below.
James Franco – Executive Producer, kink; Co-director, Interior. Leather Bar. - Actor, director, conceptual artist, grad student and failed Oscar host, Franco wears many hats. This year, he’s adding producer and co-director for two separate films for Sundance. Franco produced kink, a documentary directed by Christina Voros about the Internet’s biggest producer of BDSM. Franco also co-directed Interior. Leather Bar with Travis Matthews. The film seeks to re-create the 40 minutes of Gay S&M footage rumored to be cut from 1980’s Cruising staring Al Pacino to avoid an X rating. Sure the sexual subject matter of both films is similar but Franco’s ambition is wide ranging. Franco also makes an appearance in front of the camera in Interior. Leather Bar and Lovelace.
Alicia Keys – Executive Producer, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete - The multi-platinum singer/songwriter is no stranger to cinema. More than a few films feature her tunes on their soundtracks and Keys was in front of the camera in 2006’s Smokin’ Aces. However, this Sundance is Keys’ debut as a producer. Directed George Tillman Jr. and starring Skylan Brooks, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie, the coming of age film could be the start of a whole new career for Keys.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Director/Writer, Don Jon’s Addiction – He sings, he dances, he starred in The Dark Knight Rises and Looper last year, and now Gordon-Levitt slips into the director’s role on the comedy Don Jon’s Addiction. The actor’s directorial debut, which he also wrote the script for, stars Gordon-Levitt himself as a lady’s man who begins seeking a more fulfilling emotional life. Scarlett Jonansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson and Tony Danza co-star in the film.
Dave Grohl – Director/Producer, Sound City - No stranger to movie soundtracks, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer has now moved into the director’s chair with his debut documentary Sound City. Debuting early in the Festival, the film is about the famous Van Nuys studio where Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses and others have recorded. Even before the Festival began, Gravitas Ventures acquired worldwide VOD to Grohl’s movie.
Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke – Writers, Before Midnight - This one’s a bit of a cheat because the duo are actually on both sides of the camera at this year’s Sundance. Premiering tonight, the Richard Linklater directed Before Midnight sees Delpy and Hawke return to their roles as Jesse and Celine from 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. The onscreen duo also retuned to their off screen roles as writers. Like Before Sunset, which was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay, Delpy and Hawke crafted Before Midnight’s script with Linklater. This year marks the second time the trio have premiered their tale of the perpetually unfulfilled lovers to Sundance –Before Sunrise debuted at the Festival in 1995.
In Showtime’s first pilot order for 2013, the pay cable network has greenlighted a high-profile drama from Oscar nominees Paul Attanasio and Ridley Scott. Titled The Vatican, the project is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Said to evoke The Sopranos and Upstairs Downstairs, the series will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions.
The Vatican, produced by Sony Pictures TV in association with Showtime and Scott Free, has been a passion project for House executive producer Attanasio, who has been working on it for a couple of years. His script started heating up at Showtime a few weeks ago, forcing Attanasio to pull out of the Rake series adaptation starring Greg Kinnear, which Sony TV was shopping. The pay cable network then proceeded with attaching an A-list director before giving the project a green light. I hear a quartet of top feature directors circled the drama, with Ridley Scott ultimately signing on for what will be his pilot directing debut. CAA-repped Attanasio and WME-repped Scott executive produce with Scott Free’s David Zucker (The Good Wife).
EXCLUSIVE: D.W. Harper has been set to write a new draft of The Forever War for Fox 2000 and Scott Free. It’s a directing vehicle for Ridley Scott, who for 25 years has wanted to helm an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s 1974 seminal science fiction novel. The hope is to get the project moving with a script by Harper, who most recently wrote All You Need Is Kill, the sci-fi film that is in production with Tom Cruise starring and Doug Liman directing.
I first wrote about this one when the studio acquired the Haldeman book back in 2008, and at that time Scott told me it was “a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of ‘Blade Runner,’ built on a brilliant, disorienting premise.” Scott first pursued the book not long after it was published, but the rights were unavailable for a long time. Oscar-winning Raiders Of The Lost Ark VFX wiz Richard Edlund originally bought the rights with the intention of making his directing debut on the film, but it never got off the ground and finally Scott’s home studio was able to make a deal. His Scott Free is producing, with Vince Gerardis exec producing. Fox 2000’s Rodney Ferrell is steering the pic. Haldeman’s book won the 1975 Nebula Award and the 1976 Hugo Award.
October 31, 2012 – Academy-Award nominated director and producer Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Blade Runner) and Scott Free London are partnering with Orchard Media and Focus Features International on a slate of six genre low-budget feature films over a period of three years. Ridley Scott will executive produce and present the slate which will be focused primarily on horror, thriller and science fiction. The films will be in association with Northern Ireland Screen and will shoot primarily in Northern Ireland using resident crew, cast, services and facilities. Focus Features International will handle world-wide sales.
Ridley Scott said: “Our target is to create a structure that enables filmmakers to push boundaries and to excite audiences. Our proposed model of filmmaking allows us to give directors the opportunity to really innovate through narrative, production techniques and distribution strategies.”
Focus Features International’s Alison Thompson commented: “There’s an appetite and market for high-concept low budget films – that combined with Ridley Scott’s pedigree will be very attractive to international buyers.”
The filmmaker put the movie on hiatus for two weeks. He left the set of The Counselor so he could travel from London to Hollywood and handle his brother’s affairs after Tony Scott’s tragic death. Now director/producer Ridley Scott is starting production back up on The Counselor for Fox Monday, with Michael Fassbender back on set Tuesday in London. Film moves to Alicante, Spain, in a couple weeks.