BREAKING: Producers Scott Rudin and Eli Bush have teamed with Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver to produce a feature with the Mail Order Comedy troupe that generates the Comedy Central series Workaholics. The film, which is not set up at a studio, is a completely original idea and not a big-screen adaptation of their TV show as was reported. Workaholics cast members Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Blake Anderson will star and Holm is writing the script. Also producing is Isaac Horne, who manages the trio.
EXCLUSIVE: New Regency has become a co-financier on the untitled film that Cameron Crowe is directing for Sony Pictures, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray. Regency will share its 50% investment with RatPac, the company launched by James Packer and Brett Ratner that just recently teamed with Dune Entertainment for a $450 million slate financing deal with Warner Bros. That deal got off to a strong start as the studio brought them in on Gravity.
Crowe wrote the script and is producing the untitled film with Scott Rudin. They have been low key on the log line, but the film has romance and comedy and is said to in the spirit of past Crowe pics Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. The film will be released domestically by Sony Pictures, and Fox International will release it overseas. New Regency principal Arnon Milchan had a long history with Kerry Packer, which made for an easy match with his son, RatPac partner James Packer.
EXCLUSIVE: After launching one fact-based film into Oscar season with Captain Phillips, producer Scott Rudin has used his own funds to set up another. He has acquired Five Days At Memorial, the book by Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink that was published by Crown last month. Rudin will produce with Eli Bush through Scott Rudin Productions.
Fink, a physician as well as a writer, takes an unflinching look at the decisions doctors made at Memorial Medical Center, a hospital in New Orleans that was overwhelmed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. The doctors, who lost electrical power and backup and were not supported by hospital owners who had no generator mechanic on staff or even an evacuation plan, were forced to make calculated decisions on which patients to save. Some of those who were not expected to make it were shot up with morphine and left to die. This was four days into a devastating hurricane where generators failed, the intensive care wing sweltered in darkness and chaos and gunshots rang out in the areas outside the hospital. The book focuses on an attempt to prosecute a doctor and two nurses for homicide after an investigation showed elevated levels of morphine and other drugs in 23 patients who died at the hospital. Of those, 20 were ruled homicides. Fink won the Pulitzer for a dispatch she wrote as an assignment for ProPublica and The New Times Magazine in 2009.
Listen to (and share) episode 44 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about the challenges facing new Los Angeles film czar Tom Sherak; producer Scott Rudin’s big weekend at the New York Film Festival, where his Inside Llewyn Davis and Captain Phillips debuted strongly ahead of the latter film’s wide sneak previews this weekend; the field of candidates for Oscar’s foreign-language film category, led by Iranian nominee The Past; and some of the movies that won’t be contending this year for Oscar after all. Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on this week’s new movie releases, including Alfonso Cuaron’s “fantastic” space epic, Gravity, featuring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney; JFK assassination docudrama Parkland, with a sprawling cast featuring Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Jacqui Weaver and Marcia Gay Harden; and divorce comedy A.C.O.D., featuring Richard Jenkins, Amy Poehler, Jane Lynch and another large cast.
This weekend the New York Film Festival got rolling and if you mistook it for the Scott Rudin Film Festival you wouldn’t be far from wrong. Rudin’s October 11th Sony Pictures release Captain Phillips world premiered to a standing ovation on Opening Night Friday. On Saturday the much-awaited New York premiere of his December 6th CBS Films pic Inside Llewyn Davis made its local debut with stars Oscar Isaac, John Goodman and writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen among those on hand. But if that wasn’t enough of a Rudin takeover of the Fest (which runs a longish 18 days) there is an unprecedented sold out concert going on tonight at the Town Hall engineered by Rudin, the Coens and T-Bone Burnett called Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating The Music Of Inside Llewyn Davis. The concert featuring numerous folk singers of the early 1960s period in which the New York-based film is set also scheduled appearances from some of the movie’s stars including Isaac and Goodman. It’s clear Rudin, using the festival that also launched his The Social Network two years ago, doesn’t have to leave his hometown to make a mark in Hollywood’s nascent awards season. Game on.
In the case of Inside Llewyn Davis, the strategy seems particularly smart. Unlike Phillips or other upcoming Oscar-hopefuls like NYFF World Premieres for 20th Century Fox‘s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty starring and directed by Ben Stiller and playing next weekend, and the October 13th closer, Spike Jonze‘s Her from Warner Bros, Davis has already been making the fest rounds since beginning in May at Cannes where it won the Grand Prize (second place), and then in a North American launch at Telluride on Labor Day weekend that included a tribute to the musical movie collaboration between the Coens and T- Bone Burnett.
UPDATE: I just started vacation but learned that Scott Rudin will produce Chicago 7.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, TUESDAY 2:40 PM: I’ve learned that DreamWorks is finally reviving a once hot project that has barely been touched since its director Steven Spielberg suspended it back in 2008. Conventional wisdom had it that this would be Spielberg’s next Oscar pic. Since then, “every two months it’s been revisited. The title would come up in conversation at production meetings. But it’s just been hanging,” a source tells me. No longer. I’ve learned the studio is moving forward with Paul Greengrass in final talks to direct Aaron Sorkin‘s script The Trial Of The Chicago 7. It’s based on the infamous 1969 federal conspiracy trial arising out of the protesters vs police violent rioting at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that transfixed the nation because of its counter-culture and leftist mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
The modestly budgeted $20M-$30M film will start production probably in January. DreamWorks is funding all development with its financial partners, and Disney will distribute. No casting is in discussion yet because the deal isn’t done for Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone). His upcoming Captain Phillips biopic starring Tom Hanks about a sea hijacking by Somali pirates has great advance buzz at Sony. Plus, as a former British journalist and filmmaker attracted to true stories, Greengrass sounds like the right director for Chicago 7 and was considered to helm it back in August 2008.
TORONTO, CANADA (May 16, 2013) – Mongrel Media announced today that the company
has acquired all Canadian rights to INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Written and directed
by Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen, and produced by Scott Rudin, and Joel and
Ethan Coen, the film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John
Clearly there’s no keeping Scott Rudin happy. He’s shuttering his struggling Broadway play The Testament Of Mary after just 16 performances thanks to limp ticket sales. That’s despite it scoring three Tony nominations this week, including …
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions have optioned the Jeff VanderMeer novel Annihilation and the two subsequent books in what he is calling his Southern Reach trilogy. I’m told this was a sizable deal. Rudin and Eli Bush will produce.
World rights for the books were bought at auction by Sean McDonald at Farrar Straus & Giroux. The trilogy movie rights were optioned within hours in a deal negotiated by Joseph Veltre at Gersh, on behalf of Sally Harding at The Cooke Agency Inc.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin will turn the groundbreaking ’70s sitcom Good Times into a feature film. They’ve set a writer, Phil Johnston, whose most recent credits include Wreck-It Ralph and Cedar Rapids. Rudin will produce the family comedy with Eli Bush.
While Rudin is selective about the remakes with which he becomes involved – Manchurian Candidate, Shaft and Sabrina – I think this has a lot of potential. The series, which aired on CBS from 1974-79, was one in a series of socially aware Norman Lear-generated sitcoms that pushed the envelope by mixing comedy with topicality and hot-button issues. Others included All In The Family (bigot patriarch), One Day At A Time (struggling single mother) and Maude.
Good Times focused on working-class couple James and Florida Evans as they raised three kids while struggling with hard financial times, unemployment and keeping their kids away from temptations that came with living in a Chicago housing project. The movie will be set in the 1960s, which gives Johnston a rich and politically charged period to mine.
The first screening of Inside Llewyn Davis quietly took place last Saturday night in a screening room on the Sony lot. That’s the new film by …
Christy Grosz is Editor of AwardsLine.
With a list of collaborators that includes some of the most sought-after writers and producers in the business, Scott Rudin is no stranger to awards season. He’s earned best picture nominations for the last two years running, for 2010′s The Social Network and True Grit and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last year. He won his only Oscar in 2008 for No Country For Old Men — a year in which his other film, There Will Be Blood, also earned a nom for picture — and this year he earned the career distinction of having received all four major entertainment statuettes when he added a Grammy for The Book Of Mormon musical cast recording. In 2012, Rudin also saw the release of his fifth feature film with director Wes Anderson, the box office hit Moonrise Kingdom. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has gone on to win a Gotham Award for best film and earn five Independent Spirit Award nominations. Their creatively and financially lucrative partnership continues for Anderson’s 2014 followup, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which reunites much of the same cast and crew from Moonrise, including star Bill Murray and financier Steven M. Rales of Indian Paintbrush. The very busy producer recently spoke with AwardsLine about the film’s success.
AwardsLine: You always have a fairly heavy workload for a producer. How do you maintain the quality and still give everything the attention it needs?
Scott Rudin: I have no idea other than there’s no alternative. Honestly.
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Memphis, Paul Greengrass‘ film about the final days of Dr. Martin Luther King, is coming back around. Now, I hear that steps are underway to make Memphis Greengrass’ next directorial outing. I’ve heard that Veritas is in talks to finance with Wild Bunch. You might recall the picture was shelved after Universal Pictures dropped out, and Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin shelved it because it became too difficult to set up new financing and shoot the film so that it could be released during the MLK weekend holiday. Greengrass and Rudin moved on to make Captain Phillips, the Sony drama about the Somali pirate heist that stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips.
The script depicts Dr. King’s final days as he struggled to organize a protest march on behalf of striking black municipal sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was slain. That storyline is juxtaposed with an intense manhunt for King’s assassin James Earl Ray, involving some of the federal authorities who, at Hoover’s direction, had dogged King’s every step with wiretaps and whispering campaigns before the civil rights leader’s death.