EXCLUSIVE: NBC is developing a contender for it Friday supernatural block anchored by Grimm, which is currently paired with Dracula. It hails from Dracula executive producer/head writer Daniel Knauf and is based on Universal Pictures’ Scott Stuber-produced 2010 feature The Wolfman starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, which in turn was a remake of the 1941 movie. The WolfMan is one of two projects Knauf has at NBC, along with a supernatural telenovela produced by Electus that is part of the company’s 3-for-1 telenovela deal at NBC, intended to result in a 13-episode order.
The WolfMan, produced by Universal Pictures sibling Universal TV and Stuber’s studio-based Bluegrass Films & TV, is described as a supernatural thriller that explores what it means to be a man and to be human. It centers on Lawrence Talbot, who is afflicted by an ancient curse and jacks into the powerful, primordial soul of the alpha-predator (watch the trailer for the 2010 movie below). Knauf is writing and executive producing with Stuber and Quan Phung. Bluegrass also has a comedy at NBC with writer Will Calhoun.
The untitled telenovela is an original concept that chronicles the ruthless supernatural machinations of the six governesses of an exclusive Hancock Park women’s club, the true powers behind every throne in The City of Angels. Knauf is writing and will exec produce with Electus’ Ben Silverman and Jimmy Fox. That project joins format adaptation Black Widow in Electus’ 3-for-1 NBC deal, with the network eying a series pickup for one of the projects to air following telenovelas’ traditional air pattern of multiple episodes a week. Knauf, repped by Resolution, Industry Entertainment and Holmes Weinberg, previously created the cult HBO series Carnivale.
EXCLUSIVE: Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films has set Parkland writer-director Peter Landesman to rewrite and direct Down By The River, an espionage revenge thriller inspired by Charles Bowden’s nonfiction book. Landesman will come on to rewrite a script by Henry Bean.
Landesman and Naomi Despres brought the project to Stuber as the same time as Kill the Messenger, the story of how investigative journalist Gary Webb uncovered CIA complicity in bringing crack to U.S. cities and then destroyed the reputation of Webb, who committed suicide in 2004. Michael Cuesta directed the film for Focus Features with Jeremy Renner playing Webb. Stuber produced with Despres and Renner, while Landesman and Pamela Abdy are exec producers. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and producer Scott Stuber are optioning “Sleepaway Camp For Postmodern Cowboys”, an article by Josh Eells that was published in the July 19 issue of The New York Times Magazine. It describes a competition staged at King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center in Jordan that pits elite international forces against each other in contests to establish supremacy. The countries competing ranged from America to China, and numerous others. It turns into one giant bonding session as the warriors find common ground with one another. CAA brokered the deal.
It is about that time when the town checks out until Toronto, but this was one of two literary properties that got multiple studio bids this week. Another that just about every studio is chasing is The Cuckoo’s Calling, the mystery by Robert Galbraith that sold few copies and received a pass from at least one studio before it became public that the writer was Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has closed a deal to turn the David Guggenheim and Nicholas Mennuti novel Weaponized into a feature with Scott Stuber producing through his Bluegrass Films banner. Guggenheim, who wrote Safe House for … Read More »
Cupid’s annual arrow barrage will suit Hollywood just fine next year: Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday in 2014, and Universal today slotted its remake of Endless Love for that ultimate date night. The drama stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde in the roles played by Martin Hewitt and Brooke Shields in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film. The Shana Feste-helmed update will have a third wheel on its opening weekend in the form of another ’80s remake, Sony/Screen Gems’ About Last Night. Fox also will target couples-fueled cash will its sci-fi thriller The Maze Runner while the Weinstein Company deploys its franchise-hopeful Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks just closed a deal for Las Madres, a comic pitch for a script that will be written by Lona Williams. Scott Stuber will produce. The logline: Three friends, who have recently found themselves unemployed, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled family comedy pitch from scribes Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka that will be developed as a star vehicle for Vince Vaughn. The film will be produced by Scott Stuber and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and producer Scott Stuber have optioned the Derek Haas spy thriller novel The Right Hand. Haas and his right hand man, screenwriting partner Michael Brandt, are set to adapt the book as a feature, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films has optioned the graphic novel The Order from Arcana/Benderspink, and has set writer Brian Nathanson (The Many Deaths Of Barnaby James) to write the script.
The Order is a group of young … Read More »
Universal Pictures and producer Scott Stuber are gearing up for a remake of Endless Love, the 1981 Franco Zefirelli-directed film about obsessive teenage love that starred Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt, and which launched the movie career of … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: TV Land has given cast-contingent orders to two new comedy pilots, the single-camera I’m Not Dead Yet from Ben Silverman’s Electus and the multi-camera Brothers-In-Law, executive produced by Scott Stuber. I’m Not Dead, based on the DBS-produced Israeli format Zanzuri, marks TV Land’s first single-camera pilot. Written by Jon Sherman (Frasier), it is about a man who finds out that he has a rare heart condition that could cause him to die at any moment and decides to finally start speaking his mind and live life to the fullest. Silverman is executive producing, with Electus’ Jimmy Fox co-executive producing.
Written and executive produced by comedy veterans Bill Martin and Mike Schiff (3rd Rock From The Sun), who will serve as showrunners, Brothers-In-Law revolves around the family dynamic between a husband and the eccentric fiancé of his wife’s twin sister, who have nothing in common but the sisters constantly force them to bond. Stuber is executive producing, with his development executive Quan Phung producing. “With these pilot orders, TV Land continues down a path to build its own library of original sitcoms that will be paired up with some of the best sitcoms ever made,” said TV Land president Larry W. Jones. “This year, we are expanding beyond the multi-camera format — which has been so successful for us — to include one single-camera project.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired the Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel novel Lunatics, with Steve Carell attached to star. The film will be produced by Scott Stuber and Pam Abdy of Stuber Pictures and Carell and his Carousel partners Vance … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has quietly dropped out of Clue, one of the seven Hasbro games properties the studio contracted to make into movies in a ground-breaking six-year exclusive deal signed in 2008. Clue becomes the third project out of seven to be dropped by Universal (Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering were also kicked to the curb), but none of those projects are dead. In the case of the murder mystery board game Clue, Hasbro is funding the development and producing the film with Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink. Verbinski, director of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Rango and the upcoming Lone Ranger, still plans to direct Clue, and he and Blind Wink’s John Krauss are producing with Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir.
They’ve just hired Flash Gordon scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama to write the Clue script. The writers will draft a take that Verbinski and his fellow producers came up with that retains the murder mystery spirit of the board game, but broadens the setting to a global stage. Beyond scripting Flash Gordon for Sony Pictures, Sharpless and Sazama are redrafting Dracula Year Zero. That project’s still hanging on at Universal, after being halted just short of the start line because of a high budget, when Alex Proyas was directing and Sam Worthington was going to star. ICM reps the writers.
Is all this a clue that Universal no longer wants to roll the dice on board game movies? Insiders say no. Rather, they tell me that Universal and Hasbro gradually narrowed their focus to the four films that most made sense for the studio: Battleship, the Peter Berg-directed summer 2012 action movie that stars Taylor Kitsch and Liam Neeson, with Universal just releasing its first trailer (below); Stretch Armstrong, which has Rob Letterman directing and Twilight Saga’s Taylor Lautner attached to play the rubbery title character; Candy Land, which is being written by Kung Fu Panda 2 co-writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who’ve described the film as Lord of the Rings, with edibles; and Ouija, which has McG attached to direct and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form producing with Ian Bryce and Hasbro’s Goldner and Schneir. Read More »
Dodgeball director Rawson Thurber is rewriting The Umbrella Academy for Universal Pictures, based on the 2008 Eisner Award-winning Dark Horse comic written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way. Mark Bomback wrote the first draft.
The comic revolves around an adopted … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: While the outbreak of zombie and vampire films has been well chronicled, Hollywood has also become flush with Frankenstein films. The latest is an adaptation of the Peter Ackroyd novel The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein, which has just gotten Pulitzer-winning Proof playwright David Auburn signed to write the script. The project is set with RT Features, and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures. The story covers the youthful days of Frankenstein, who begins experimenting with corpses, influenced by the outspoken English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whose Mary wrote the book. She’s a character in the film as well. RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira will produce with Tapert and Ilene Staple, while Fernando Loureiro, Jeff Vespa and Ghost House’s Nathan Kahane and Lawrence Grey will be exec producers.
That’s just one of several Frankenflicks. Universal is developing a new version of the 1931 studio classic movie with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Stuber; Summit Entertainment is developing This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, an adaptation of the Kenneth Oppel novel that is being produced by Twilight Saga’s Karen Rosenfelt; and Columbia Pictures and producer Matt Tomach recently acquired Frankenstein, a contemporary re-telling of the famous tale based on a pitch by Craig Fernandez. If that’s not enough, former Guns n Roses guitar hero Slash, whose Slasher Films is teamed with Scout Productions on a Jay Russell-attached Wake the Dead, a Frankenstein tale based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night). And let’s not forget Fox 2000’s remake of the 1975 camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, last heard from around Halloween, when the studio courted Glee’s Ryan Murphy, right after he wrapped an episode devoted to the original movie. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Vera Farmiga to star with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, the Daniel Espinosa-directed drama. Production is already under way, with Reynolds playing a young agent assigned to escort a dangerous criminal to … Read More »