EXCLUSIVE: Spike TV has put in development Basket Case, a drama with a comedic bent based on the best-selling novel by author and journalist Carl Hiaasen, with Rob Reiner on board to direct and executive produce. The project, from FremantleMedia North America in association with Random House Television Prods. and Castle Rock Entertainment, will be written by Alex Taub (Drop Dead Diva). It centers on a great investigative reporter who has trouble dealing with authority, change, women, success, and most of all, corruption. After he savages his paper’s powerful new owner, he is demoted to the obituary desk, which gives him a unique window into suspicious deaths and weird goings on in crime-ridden Miami. Using an unusual team of friends, relatives, an ex-wife, newspaper misfits, and his beautiful new boss, he strives to regain his investigative credibility and a saner life. “Corruption, murder, and laughs. I can’t think of a more satisfying combination,” Reiner said. “Carl Hiaasen strikes the perfect balance. I’m so looking forward to entering his twisted world.” Added Hiaasen, “Among writers of satire, Spinal Tap stands as a work of genius. I’m excited to see what Rob will do with my twisted little novel.”
When it signaled a return to scripted series in April, Spike bet heavily on event series, which made up its entire spring scripted development slate. The deal for Basket Case does not mean a change of course. “Though our primary focus has been on finding marquee Limited Event Series, we have vowed that when an unbelievable opportunity for a series presents itself, we will be ready to pounce,” said Spike TV’s EVP Sharon Levy: “It doesn’t get much better than Hiaasen and Reiner for Spike.” Read More »
Rob Reiner is in negotiations to join Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. The director and All In The Family star would play … Read More »
U.S. rights to Rob Reiner’s The Magic Of Belle Isle have been picked up by Magnolia Pictures. Magnolia plans a theatrical and VOD release in its Ultra VOD program in the summer. Starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rand Holston is leaving CAA, the talent agency where he spent the last 28 years. I’m hearing this might be one of several exits to take place over the next three weeks. The agency confirmed that Holston is leaving. … Read More »
AFM: Panels And Speakers Schedule Set
The American Film Market has released the schedule for its new Industry Conversations program, which will spotlight prominent biz players, is free to attendees and runs November 2-8. AFM begins Wednesday and runs through November 9. Here’s the lineup:
Thursday, 3 November, 2011
“Columbus Circle” – A Conversation with Actor Kevin Pollak (co-writer & producer), Actress Selma Blair, director and co-writer George Gallo; TBD executive from Lightning Entertainment or another Producer.
“Columbus Circle” is a stylish and riveting thriller about a reclusive young heiress, Abigail, who lives a guarded and sheltered life in a luxurious New York penthouse. But when she is befriended by Lillian and Charlie, the glamorous new owners of the apartment next door, Abigail’s safe and secure existence is suddenly threatened. The film stars Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee and Kevin Pollak. (Lightning Entertainment; American Film Market World Premiere).
Flights. Camera. Action. How to make it all happen – A Conversation with Bertram von Munster, Co-creator and Executive Producer, “The Amazing Race.” Hosted by Jack Gonzales, Former Travel Director, Sony Pictures.
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As fewer movies get made these days, the hardest thing for a director or a writer is just getting hired. Bryan Barber, who went from helming videos for bands like Outkast to making his feature debut with the stars of that group on the 2006 Prohibition Era musical Idlewild, grew so tired of getting close and losing out on big directing jobs that he hunted and secured a film-centric property to improve his odds. After the lengthy courtship of an 86-year old voiceover artist who controlled the rights, Barber will go to his next studio meeting flanked by Gigantor, the giant flying robot star of the 60s Japanese cartoon import with a catchy theme song and a family-friendly premise. Barber controls the movie, merchandise and videogame rights, and will shop a $60 million live action film he calls Transformers meets Goonies. And guess who’ll be attached as director?
Considering that robots remain hot—Hasbro told shareholders this week that another Transformers is in the offing and a Real Steel sequel is also a possibility—Barber figures there should be interest in this story of a 12-year old boy who ends up with the controls to the giant weaponized world-saving robot. Barber hopes to take the same proactive route that allowed Tate Taylor to direct the summer sleeper hit The Help (he optioned the book before it had a publisher) and years ago got Frank Darabont his directing debut on The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont had written a superb script and controlled the book, and refused to step aside even when Rob Reiner and Tom Cruise were ready to re-team after A Few Good Men). Read More »