The Drake Doremus-directed sci-fi pic Equals that we told you in the fall would star Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult is shaping up, and with financing in hand is now set to head to Berlin‘s European Film …
EXCLUSIVE: Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Prods has signed a two-year, first-look deal with AMC to develop and produce scripted cable projects for the network. The pact, Scott Free’s first such first-look agreement with a cable network, stems from the production company’s collaboration with AMC on The Terror, a drama series project based on the 2007 best-selling novel by Dan Simmons, which was taken in for development by AMC in February. The Terror is joined by two other Scott Free drama projects developed under the first-look deal. One is an untitled futuristic, dystopian, sci-fi saga from executive producer and writer Jason Cahill (Fringe) and producer and Emmy-winning prosthetic makeup artist and The Walking Dead co-executive producer Greg Nicotero, who also has a deal at AMC. The other, Raiders, from executive producer and writer Evan Wright (Generation Kill), was among the finalists at this year’s AMC pilot script showcase held this month. It is a WWII drama about a rogue U.S. Navy commander who leads an unconventional warfare unit into the heart of Africa on a mission that will bend the arc of history. This marks AMC’s second first-look deal with a production company. The first one, announced in February, also is with producers who have strong feature pedigrees, Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg and their Double Feature Films.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment has made a two-year exclusive first-look deal with Michael Costigan and his COTA Films. It brings him back to the lot where he spent nine years as an executive working on such films as Charlie’s Angels, Gattaca, The People Versus Larry Flynt, Girl, Interrupted and Bottle Rocket.
The deal was brokered by Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad and president of production Hannah Minghella.
Costigan left Sony and was exec producer of Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, before he took the role of president for Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free, where he served from 2005 to 2012. There, he was exec producer of Prometheus, The Counselor, Robin Hood, Body Of Lies and American Gangster from the Scott brothers, and he produced the Mark and Jay Duplass pics Cyrus and Welcome to the Rileys. More recently, he produced Stoker, the Park Chan-wook-directed film that stars Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode, and the Zal Batmanglij-directed The East, which stars Brit Marling, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard. Both those films premiered at Sundance. Costigan also produced Out Of The Furnace, the Brad Ingelsby-scripted drama directed by Scott Cooper and starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson.
National Geographic Channel Reteams With Bill O’Reilly And Ridley Scott For ‘Killing Kennedy’ Film About JFK’s Assassination
EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of next month’s premiere of National Geographic‘s Killing Lincoln, the cable network has greenlighted Killing Kennedy, a new film from Killing Lincoln producer Scott Free about the assassination of John F Kennedy. Like Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy will be based on a book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Killing Kennedy: The End Of Camelot, O’Reilly’s latest New York Times bestseller with co-author Martin Dugard, is a follow-up to the duo’s hugely successful Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever, which has sold more than 1 million copies. The new two-hour factual drama will keep the narrative storytelling devices used by O’Reilly in the book, published in October, which recounts Kennedy’s assassination and its impact on America. “The common parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are astonishing, with both assassinations profoundly changing the nation during crucial moments in its history,” O’Reilly said. “While Kennedy’s assassination continues to garner many conspiracy theories, our story is based on facts — some that haven’t been publicly known. And with National Geographic Channel and Scott Free once again at the helm, I have the utmost trust and faith that they will bring the story of Kennedy and Camelot to life.” Casting on the two-hour film, which will combine historical insights and archives with dramatic storytelling in the signature style of the Scott brothers, is expected to begin shortly for a sprint start of production. “Collaborating with National Geographic on Bill O’Reilly’s follow-up was an easy decision,” said Scott Free principal Ridley Scott. “They share the same passion of storytelling, willing to take creative leaps and risks to keep viewers entertained to tell the provocative story of Kennedy’s last days, a pivotal and historic moment.”
Screenwriter Chris Terrio has landed a two-script deal at Warner Bros that will follow his reteaming with Argo producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov on a project with director Paul Greengrass, Deadline has confirmed. The Greengrass project with Clooney and Heslov is at Sony where the pair’s production shingle Smoke House is based. Clooney is attached to star in the original tale that unfolds amid New York crime syndicates. Terrio’s initial script for Warner Bros is expected to be next in line. In addition to his screenplay for Argo, Terrio’s resume includes directing and co-writing Sony Pictures Classics Heights as well as scripting the upcoming Tell No One and A Murder Foretold.
Scott Free Productions and 20th Century Fox are moving forward in developing Hugh Howey’s Wool series of post-apocalyptic e-novelettes with UK writer-director J Blakeson in early talks for the project, Deadline has confirmed. Fox and Scott Free acquired rights to the best-selling e-books earlier this year. Ridley Scott and Steve Zallian are producing. Blakeson wrote and directed The Disappearance of Alice Creed and co-wrote The Descent Part 2.
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.”
Scott Free President Michael Costigan Leaving To Be Producer; Will Ex-Summit Exec Michael Schaefer Take Post?
UPDATE: Doesn’t look like it will take Ridley and Tony Scott long to name a new president for Scott Free. The name I’m hearing on the short list is Michael Schaefer, the former senior vice president of acquisitions and co-productions at Summit Entertainment who left that company after the consolidation of staff in the spring after the company was acquired by Lionsgate. Stay tuned.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 2:13 PM: Michael Costigan will be leaving his post as president of Scott Free, I’m told. Costigan will move into full-time producing after spending the past seven years with the Fox-based company run by directors Ridley and Tony Scott. Costigan, a former production executive at Columbia Pictures, has already been doing a lot of producing along with managing the considerable volume of directing vehicles for the Scott brothers. I’m told Costigan’s exit is amicable and that the company expects to set a new top executive before the summer is over.
Costigan is currently producing Out Of The Furnace, the Scott Cooper-directed revenge thriller that began as a Brad Ingelsby spec script that initially had Ridley Scott prepared to direct Leonardo DiCaprio. It just wrapped, with Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana heading the cast. He also produced Stoker, the Park Chan-wook-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman, and he’s also producing The East, which was scripted by The Sound Of My Voice team of Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, with Marling starring with Ellen Page and Alexander Sarsgaard. Costigan also produced Cyrus and Welcome To The Rileys.
Deadline revealed last week that 20th Century would acquire film rights to Hugh Howey book Wool, an e-book being called science fiction’s answer to Fifty Shades Of Grey. Here’s the confirmation:
RANDOM HOUSE’S CENTURY ACQUIRES NEW SELF-PUBLISHED PHENOMENON HUGH HOWEY WITH FILMS RIGHTS SNAPPED UP BY RIDLEY SCOTT AND
As a former film production and finance lawyer, Dusi will provide Scott Free London with experienced business affairs knowledge and will manage the company’s legal and contractual negotiation across its growing slate of film and TV projects. He will also take primary responsibility within the company for raising production finance.
With a strong background in UK and European film production, Dusi made his name with the launch of Aria Films in 2002 – an integrated film production, financing and consultancy outfit. He went on to produce or executive produce a number of feature films including Gareth Maxwell Roberts’ Kill Kill Faster Faster, Peter Greenaway’s Nightwatching, Sallie Aprahamian’s Broken Lines starring Paul Bettany and Olivia Williams, and Paul Morrison’s Little Ashes starring Twilight Saga star Robert Pattinson.
EXCLUSIVE: Based on a 30-minute reel being shown to distributors as we speak, bidding is getting hot and heavy on The Grey, the Joe Carnahan-directed drama about an oil-drilling team struggling to survive in the wilds of Alaska after their plane crashes smack in the middle of a territorial rogue wolf pack. Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie and Joe Anderson star in the film. CAA is shopping the Scott Free-produced pic, and I’ve heard that Warner Bros, Open Road, Summit, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company and FilmDistrict are all in the mix.
The movie’s had heat on it since CAA showed a three-minute reel right after the Cannes Film Festival. The ask is in the $8 million range minimum guarantee and a release upwards of 3000 screens and the deal will certainly be in the seven-figures based on what I’ve heard about the footage. But the bidding is complicated by one thing: the filmmakers are insisting that The Grey be released later this year. It makes sense for a cold-weather film that has a Neeson performance that could be in the Oscar mix. And the film is ready to build buzz that starts with festivals like Toronto. The complication is, several of the distributors have crowded late-year release schedules. This could give an edge to a distributor like Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road, which is looking for exactly this kind of wide-release film.
EXCLUSIVE: Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods, which has been a player in scripted television, most recently with acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife, is strengthening its commitment to unscripted TV by signing a new two-year deal with Mary Lisio ro serve as SVP of non-fiction and branded entertainment. Lisio oversees all non-scripted projects at the company, most recently shepherding the special Gettysburg for History. Sam Rockwell, who co-starred in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Man, has come on board to narrate the two-hour special, which will premiere May 30.