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Produced By: Hispanics “Most Important” Ticket Buyers; Theater Owners Testing In-Movie Language Translation App

By | Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 9:20pm PDT
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How To Attract The Latino Demo

The head of the National Association of Theatre Owners told film producers over the weekend that they should make more movies targeting the Hispanic demographic, which already is one of the most lucrative and loyal groups in the business. Deadline's Jen Yamato and Dominic Patten discuss.

nato“Hispanics are far and away the most important consumers at our cinemas,” declared National Association of Theater Owners head John Fithian at Sunday’s Produced By panel on the voracious spending habits of the growing Hispanic population. Fithian described Hispanics as “the most valuable component of moviegoers” and credited them with the 5.8% boost in ticket sales in the family flick-filled first quarter of 2014. A sizzle reel opening the session called the demo “the biggest game changer since the baby boom,” a claim supported by NATO and Nielsen stats with even more growth projected by 2050, when one out of three Americans will be of Hispanic descent.

NATO John FithianAccording to Fithian, 44% of Hispanics go to the movies a few times a month, 63% rent movies on DVD or Blu-ray, and 76% own high quality televisions in their home – all in numbers higher than other ethnicities. Naturally, theater owners would like Hollywood to cater more content to their highest-volume customers. They’re also taking the initiative by testing an in-theater app that can translate English language films into multiple languages live during a movie. “We are testing simultaneous translation, personal devices that sync up with movies with an app while you’re watching a movie,” Fithian revealed.

Related: NATO’s John Fithian Considers Texting In Theaters

Encouraging moviegoers to use their smart phones during movies might invite piracy and disturb other moviegoers, obvious downsides that NATO is trying to work around. “We are talking to a couple of companies who will be working with our members to test usability and any possible disruption to other patrons,” a rep for the organization told me. “Since smart phones can also record, we want to make sure the apps are usable when the devices are in your pocket, so ushers don’t have to worry about a lot of people pointing phones at the screen and trying to guess if they are pirating.” Read More »

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UPDATE: Roberto Orci To Helm ‘Star Trek 3′

Mike Fleming

UPDATED, 7:09 PM: Looks like Roberto Orci indeed is set to direct the next Star Trek pic — as we reported exclusively last week.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, May 9: After an aggressive lobbying campaign, Roberto Orci has emerged as the clear frontrunner to replace JJ Abrams and direct Paramount‘s third installment of the Star Trek series. I’m hearing they’re in talks. This comes after Orci parted company with longtime partner Alex Kurtzman (though they continue on TV projects). This would amount to another first-time director taking on a massive project, which has been hit (Snow White And The Huntsman) and miss (Transcendence, John Carter, 47 Ronin).

trekk Orci could be an exception on the positive side of the ledger because he has been involved for so long as writer and producer in shaping such big scale films as the Star Trek films as well as the Transformers and Amazing Spider-Man movies. I’m told that Paramount’s partner, Skydance Productions, has been in Orci’s corner, but Paramount needed convincing. Now it all could happen at warp speed. Abrams helmed the first two films from his home base at Paramount, but surprised the studio by agreeing to relaunch the Star Wars franchise and direct the first film, at Disney. Stay tuned. Orci is repped by CAA.

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Robert Patrick Joins CBS Pilot ‘Scorpion’

By | Saturday March 8, 2014 @ 10:34am PST
Nellie Andreeva

robertpatrickThe Unit alum Robert Patrick is back at CBS with a co-starring role in another drama project, pilot Scorpion, from writer Nick Santora, director Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age. Patrick, repped by Gersh, McKuen Frankel Whitehead and the Coronel group, will play Cabe Gallo, a no non-sense, blue collar Federal Agent who works with the group. He is currently on El Rey’s From Dusk til Dawn and has Kill the Messenger coming out.

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CBS Orders Drama Pilot From Nick Santora, Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman & Bob Orci

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 7:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

JustinLinsantoraCBS has given a pilot order to Scorpion, a drama from Nick Santora, Justin Lin, Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The project, which had a put pilot commitment, was written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and will be directed by Fast & Furious’ Lin, with CBS TV Studios producing. It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age. Read More »

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Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Team With Nick Santora & Justin Lin For CBS Put Pilot, Sell CW Terrorist Drama

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Three years after the end of Numbers, CBS is high on another drama procedural with a genius at the center. The network has given a put pilot commitment to an untitled drama from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, writer Nick Santora and director Justin Lin. It is one of two sales for Kurtzman and Orci’s CBS TV Studios-based K/O Paper Products, along with an untitled sibling terrorist drama at the CW, done with Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya ‘s Scripted World.

Written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and to be directed by Fast & The Furious’ Lin, the CBS project is inspired by the true story of Walter O’Brien’s life and how he, a man with the fourth highest documented IQ, became a real-life professor X. He recruited the world’s greatest intellects to his company where they not only solved the world’s most pressing and significant problems, but also helped each other learn to fit in and live in a world where literally being “one in a billion” can be as lonely as it sounds. Executive producing are Santora, Lin, O’Brien, K/O’s Kurtzman, Orci and Heather Kadin and SB Films’ Scooter Braun, with SB’s Danny Rose and Danielle Woodrow of Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment co-exec producing and  and SB’s Scott Manson and Perfect Storm’s Troy Poon producing. Santora, who is under … Read More »

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Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci & Peter Lenkov Sell Drama To CBS With Writer Matt Wheeler

By | Friday September 6, 2013 @ 1:46pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The auspices behind CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot are reteaming for a new drama series. The eye network has put in development Salvation, a high-concept drama executive produced by Hawaii Five-0 developers/exec producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov and produced by CBS TV Studios. Written by up-and-coming feature writer Matt Wheeler, the project is set in the months leading up to a global, catastrophic event and follows a group of characters’ attempts to deal with the impending destruction of the planet and ensure the survival of humanity. Kurtzman, Orci, Lenkov and Heather Kadin are executive producing, with Wheeler co-exec producing.

This marks the first sale for Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products under a deal with CBS TV Studios the company inked in July. Under their previous pact at 20th TV, K/O are producing Fox’s upcoming fall drama series Sleepy Hollow. Lenkov, who has been running Hawaii Five-0 since its 2010 launch, also is under an overall deal at CBS Studios. Wheeler, repped by Management 360 and Verve, penned the script Snatchback for Voltage with Atlas producing and Ross Katz attached to direct. He recently wrote Butcher’s Boy for Sony with Matt Tolmach producing, and is  writing the action thriller Splinter for Wayfare Entertainment. CAA reps Kurtzman and Orci, also repped by Michael Gendler, as well as Lenkov.

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Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci In Negotiations To Write Next ‘Star Trek’ Pic

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 6:32pm PDT

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who co-penned both installments of Paramount’s current Star Trek franchise, are returning for the next one. The first sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, has grossed $450M worldwide since its May 16 release.

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TCA: In Fox’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’, Ichabod Crane Meets Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, Rip Van Winkle & Superman

By | Thursday August 1, 2013 @ 11:55am PDT

Fox’s new drama series Sleepy Hollow bears as much resemblance to the Washington Irving story to which it has glommed on, as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters did to the German folk fairy tale about the two cute tots who nearly got baked. Which is to say, barely. The Irving short story, set in 1790, was about a superstitious schoolmaster in Connecticut who is competing with the Tarrytown troublemaker for the daughter of a local rich guy, but who gets frightened out of town when his rival lobs a Jack-o-Lantern at hime, while masquerading as as the legendary Hessian trooper who’d had his head blown off by a cannonball in the neighborhood during the Revolutionary War and who returns nightly to look for his head.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci has reinvisioned Ichabod as a superhero who is resurrected two and a half centuries later, finds the world on the brink of destruction and the Headless Horseman now one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation. Rather than crawling into his bed and pulling the covers over his head, like you’d think, the guy who used to fear Jack-o-Lanterns instead rises to the occasion, teams with a contemporary cop, and unravels a mystery that dates back to the Founding Fathers, which is before even his time. Read More »

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Kurtzman & Orci’s K/O Paper Products Moves To CBS TV Studios

By | Wednesday July 17, 2013 @ 12:30pm PDT

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s production company K/O Paper Products have inked a three-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. The agreement to develop TV projects for the studio ends K/O’s partnership with its previous home base 20th Century Fox TV, where it has resided since 2010 in a pod deal. Among the current projects for Kurtzman and Orci is 20th TV’s Sleepy Hollow, which they wrote and Fox acquired — it will premiere in the fall with Len Wiseman directing the pilot and executive producing. (K/O’s first major projects, Locke & Key and Exit Strategy, also went to Fox and got to the pilot stage.) Kurtzman and Orci previously co-penned Fox’s Fringe with JJ Abrams, a series that ended its five-year run last season. The pair also co-wrote and developed CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which started their relationship with CBS. Also on the pair’s TV slate is The Hub’s animated series Transformers: Prime. That stems from the duo’s work on the Transformers film franchise; their other extensive film credits include the two Star Trek movies, Eagle Eye, Cowboys & Aliens and Mission: Impossible III, and they executive produced the romantic comedy The Proposal. They also co-wrote and produced People Like Us for Disney, marking Kurtzman’s feature directorial debut. Read More »

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Universal Nabs Kurtzman & Orci-Developed Sci-Fi Pitch ‘Sagittarius A’

By | Wednesday March 13, 2013 @ 11:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired Sagittarius A, an original sci-fi thriller pitch that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci developed with Steven Karczynski. The script will be written by Karczynski, whose Black List screenplay The Umbra is set at Endgame Entertainment with Martin Campbell attached to direct. The scribe also adapted the Capcom video game Dark Void for Reliance and Plan B Entertainment. Kurtzman and Orci will produce for their Universal-based K/O Paper Products, with K/O president Bobby Cohen also producing. K/O executive Kim Cavyan brought in the project. Karczynski is repped by Gersh and Digital Conspiracy and Kurtzman and Orci are repped by CAA.

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Len Wiseman Wrapping Up Deal To Helm Universal Reboot Of ‘The Mummy’

By | Monday September 24, 2012 @ 2:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is setting Len Wiseman to direct The Mummy, the reboot of a franchise whose most recent incarnation grossed $1.25 billion over three films. Jon Spaihts is writing the script and the studio is eyeing a potential summer 2014 release, so things are moving quickly, with Universal eager to ramp back up one of its most venerable franchises.

The film is being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci through their Universal-based K/O Paper Products, alongside former partners Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks. Latter two produced the version launched by Steve Sommers which starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. That trilogy was based on the Karl Fruend-directed Boris Karloff starrer that the studio made in 1932.

I spoke to both Kurtzman and Wiseman, and they said the script Spaihts is writing puts the gauze-covered villain into a modern-day context. Read More »

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Alex Kurtzman And Roberto Orci’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Drama Lands At Fox As Put Pilot

By | Friday July 20, 2012 @ 11:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After garnering interest from several networks, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s Sleepy Hollow drama pitch has landed at Fox with a put pilot commitment. Underworld helmer Len Wiseman is on board to direct the the project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products. Described as a modern–day supernatural thriller based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, it follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the mysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.

Related: Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Shop ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Series; Len Wiseman Set To Direct

Kurtzman and Orci will write the script with up-and-coming writer Phillip Iscove, on whose idea the project is based. Kurtzman, Orci and Wiseman executive produce Sleepy Hollow with K/O’s Heather Kadin. The project was taken to Fox on Thursday, where it received a great reception, before it was also pitched to CBS, ABC and NBC today. Fox ultimately stepped up with a put pilot commitment.

This is the first TV project Kurtzman and Orci will co-write since the 2010 launch of their K/O production company as a pod based at 20th TV. (K/O’s first major projects, Locke & Key and Exit Strategy, also went to Fox and got to pilot stage.) Kurtzman and Orci previously co-penned Fox’s Fringe with JJ Abrams and CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, both of which became … Read More »

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Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Shop ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Series; Len Wiseman Set To Direct

By | Friday July 20, 2012 @ 11:39am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sleepy Hollow SeriesEXCLUSIVE: The first big drama project of the 2012 pitch season has hit the marketplace. Sleepy Hollow hails from Transformers writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, with Underworld helmer Len Wiseman on board to direct. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products, is a modern–day supernatural thriller based on the legend of Sleepy Hollow. It follows Ichabod Crane as he partners with Sleepy Hollow’s local female sheriff to solve the Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orcimysteries of a town ravaged by the battle between good and evil.

Related: The CW Eyes Sleepy Hollow Series

Kurtzman and Orci will write the script with Phillip Iscove, on whose idea the project is based. Iscove is an up-and-coming writer who has been an assistant at UTA for the past five years and has had a script on the Black List. Kurtzman has a relationship with Wiseman and reached out to him to direct. Kurtzman and Orci previously worked with Wiseman on the Hawaii Five-0 pilot, which Kurtzman and Orci co-wrote and Wiseman directed. The three executive produce Sleepy Hollow with K/O’s Heather Kadin. The project is being pitched to Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC.

This is the first TV project Kurtzman and Orci will co-write since the 2010 launch of their K/O production company as a pod based at 20th TV. They … Read More »

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Universal Signs Kurtzman And Orci; Pair Takes On ‘The Mummy’ And ‘Van Helsing’

Universal Pictures The MummyUniversal said the first projects in the exclusive two-year deal with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and their K/O Paper Products banner will be remakes of studio library titles The Mummy alongside producer Sean Daniel and writer Jon Spaihts and Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached. The writer-producers will set up shop on the Universal lot, and former assistants Ben Kim and Kim Cavyan will come aboard as creative executives. Kurtzman and Orci previously had a deal with David Ellison’s Skydance Productions but that didn’t take. Before that, they were with DreamWorks. Their credits include writing two Transformers movies and the Star Trek reboot as well as the disappointing Cowboys & Aliens. On the TV side, they created Fringe produce Hawaii Five-0. Here’s the full release:

Alex Kurtzman Roberto Orci UniversalUNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 1, 2011—Universal Pictures today announced the studio has signed a two-year first-look production deal with one of the leading writing/producing teams in the entertainment industry, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and their K/O Paper Products banner. The duo will kick off their new relationship with Universal by reimagining titles from the studio’s library including Van Helsing and The Mummy. The announcement was made by Universal Pictures Chairman, Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman, Donna Langley.

Kurtzman and Orci have collaborated with some of the industry’s top creative minds including J.J. Abrams, with whom they wrote the third installment of Mission: Impossible, which grossed nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office. In 2007, they wrote Transformers and went on to write Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in 2009. Together, those films grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide. More recently, the pair wrote and executive produced 2009’s Star Trek, which grossed more than $385 million worldwide. Accompanying their impressive film resume, Kurtzman and Orci have found tremendous success in television, having created the series Fringe, writing/producing Alias and in 2010, producing the reboot of Hawaii Five-O. They also currently executive produce the highest rated show on Hasbro’s The Hub, Transformers Prime.

Read More »

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Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Re-Writing Sequel To ‘Amazing Spider-Man’

By | Tuesday April 24, 2012 @ 11:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

Amazing Spider-Man Roberto Orci Alex KurtzmanBREAKING: Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been tapped by Sony Pictures to rewrite the script for the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, the 3D Marc Webb-directed film that introduces Andrew Garfield as the webslinger and Emma Stone as his love interest Gwen Stacy. Sony releases the franchise relaunch July 3. The first draft was done by Amazing Spider-Man scribe James Vanderbilt. Sony has tentatively scheduled production for the first quarter of 2013.

Alex Kurtzman Roberto Orci Spider-ManKurtzman & Orci are no strangers to event-sized movies. Aside from Star Trek and the upcoming sequel, which they wrote along with Damon Lindelof, their credits include two Transformers films and Mission: Impossible III. They are repped by CAA and attorney Michael Gendler. The duo will receive exec producer credits on the Spider-Man sequel, which is produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and the late Laura Ziskin. Read More »

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Disney/DreamWorks’ ‘Welcome To People’ Gets New Title, Release Date

By | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 6:59pm PDT

Disney and DreamWorks have set a June 29 release date for People Like Us, the film previously known as Welcome To People. Starring Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer, the dramatic comedy marks the directing debut by Alex Kurtzman, who wrote the screenplay with his partner Roberto Orci, as well as Jody Lambert. Pine plays a man who returns home after his estranged dad’s death, and uncovers a family secret. Pine is currently shooting the next Star Trek feature, which Kurtzman and Orci wrote.

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Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci In Talks For Deal With David Ellison’s Skydance

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Details are sketchy at the moment, but Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products company is in negotiations to join David Ellison’s Skydance Productions. The deal would be uniquely structured, sources say; Skydance declined comment. Kurtzman and Orci are behind some of the bigger tent pole films of the past five years, including Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen as well as the Star Trek reboot and most recently Cowboys & Aliens in addition to TV series Alias and Fringe with JJ Abrams. Kurtzman and Orci are currently working on a Star Trek sequel, which they are producing with Ellison; Kurtzman, Orci and Ellison also are working together on the Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse, which Shawn Ryan is penning.

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Sci-Fi White House Drama Written By Jon Favreau, Roberto Orci, Seth Green & Michael Dougherty Gets Put Pilot At ABC

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 8:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: This is a writing team configuration that is sure to get people’s attention: Jon Favreau, Roberto Orci, Seth Green and Michael Dougherty. It certainly got ABC’s — the network has handed out a put pilot commitment to Ex-Comm, a sci-fi drama with humor, which will be written by the quartet. Iron Man helmer Favreau is set to direct the potential pilot, with 20th Century Fox TV and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products producing. Ex-Comm is described as a present-day “presidential procedural” and a cross between the paranormal suspense of The X-Files and the political intrigue of The West Wing. It follows a newly-elected President and his top secret “Executive Committee” (a.k.a. Ex-Comm), the government’s covert team of America’s most elite minds who investigate and protect our nation from the strangest occurrences and “conspiracy theory truths” out there. Tonally, the show aims to be fun but grounded, with everything in it operating within the realm of possibility. Favreau, Orci, Green and Dougherty are executive producing with Kurtzman, K/O’s Heather Kadin and Green’s producing partner at Stoopid Monkey Matthew Senreich.

How did the writing team on Ex-Comm get assembled? Robot Chicken co-creator Green and Superman Returns/X Men 2 co-writer Dougherty hatched the idea and took it to Kurtzman and Orci’s company. Meanwhile, Kurtzman and Orci co-wrote this past summer’s Cowboys & Aliens movie, which Favreau directed. While abroad doing press for the film with the rest of the cast and crew, Orci was working on the Ex-Comm pitch, and that’s how Favreau heard about it and came on board. Read More »

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Fox Buys Wyatt Earp Western From Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, Dating Comedy

Nellie Andreeva

Fox is joining the Western trend this development season with an untitled drama project from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who co-wrote this summer’s big-screen Western with a sci-fi twist Cowboys & Aliens. Written by The Shield alum John Hlavin, the project is described as a Western that tells the origins of Wyatt Earp, chronicling both the well-known incidents in his life such as the Gunfight at the OK Corral and lesser-known details of Earp and his brothers bringing order to a lawless frontier. UTA-repped Hlavin, who has a feature Western, The Gunslinger, in development at Warner Bros, brought the project to Kurtzman and Orci. The three will executive produce with Heather Kadin for 20th Century Fox TV and Kurtzman and Orci’s K/O Paper Products. Read More »

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