Screen Gems today trotted out a Comic-Con god in Sam Raimi, who dealt the kind of catnip that fanboys love. Raimi was there with Neil Druckmann, creator of the Naughty Dog game The Last Of Us, to talk about how that PlayStation 3 survival horror action game is being turned into a feature with Raimi producing and Druckmann now writing the screenplay. Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper, whose previous big vidgame-to-movie transfer was Resident Evil, basically has given over big creative controls to Druckmann in the movie transfer. That includes casting, and choice of director.
At this point, Hugh Jackman and Josh Brolin have been the consensus fan favorites to play the role of Joel, and the choice most heavily favored to play Ellie is Maisie Williams, the Game Of Thrones star who’s so sparked about this prospect that she would have shown up for today’s panel were she not waylaid by being part of an Entertainment Weekly cover shoot for GOT.
Said Raimi: “It’s gonna be a great character journey, a great love story, and great horror fiction.” Raimi took a moment to tease the prospect of more Evil Dead: “I always loved working on that series with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, and my brother and I are writing the Evil Dead TV show right now … with Bruce Campbell.” They even toyed with the idea of having Campbell … Read More »
Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) helms Screen Gems’ summer scarer about Irish Catholic NYC cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) who teams up with a renegade priest (Edgar Ramirez) to investigate a demonic plague working its way across the city – and into family man Sarchie’s home. Derrickson wrote the script with Paul Boardman, his collaborator on Screen Gems’ Exorcism of Emily Rose. Deliver Us From Evil also reunites Bana with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, for whom he starred in Black Hawk Down. Olivia Munn and Joel McHale co-star in the July 2 release which the studio’s hoping might launch a new paranormal franchise. Check out the new trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has set Stefan Ruzowitzky to direct Patient Zero, a Mike Le-scripted thriller that puts a new spin on the genre film. In the film, an unprecedented global pandemic has resulted in the evolution of a new species. An aggressive form of rabies turns the infected into predators, addicted to violence. An inexplicably gifted human survivor with the ability to speak their new language spearheads a hunt for Patient Zero in order to find a cure to save his infected wife and humanity. Vincent Newman is producing. Production will begin in the summer. When the script was originally sold, there was a zombie element to it, but that has been completely removed in the rewrites, I’m told.
The Austrian helmer directed the 2008 Oscar-winning Best Foreign-Language Film The Counterfeiters. It was that project that caught the eye of Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper, along with his 2002 film Anatomy. The result, he hopes, will be an elevated genre film. Ruzowitzky is represented by UTA.
EXCLUSIVE: In a solid six-figure deal, Screen Gems has acquired Padre, a stark drama spec by Mike Maples. Greg Champion and Mark Lawyer will be producers and Screen Gems’ James Lopez will oversee it. The script has a No Country For Old Men and A History of Violence vibe to it. A priest, trying to atone for his bloody past as a special ops soldier, witnesses the brutal murder of members from his congregation by a malevolent Sheriff and his deputies. Tortured and left for dead in the desert, he survives. Then, he faces a crisis of conscience and the dawning realization that his past military training and three tours in Afghanistan may have been preparation for what his soul and his heart tell him is right. From there it goes all bad for the crooked cops.
Maples is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment, and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Jeff Hynick rep the producers. James Lopez will oversee for Screen Gems. Maples previously wrote Miracle Run, a telepic which Champion directed.
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has signed on to distribute The Last Of Us, a live-action adaptation of the PlayStation 3 vidgame from Naughty Dog. Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director for the game, will write the script. The creative architects will be Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, as well as Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Straley. They’ll team with Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures banner.
The logline: Hardened survivor Joel teams with young and capable companion Ellie to journey through a radically transformed world some 20 years after an infectious pandemic ravages humanity. The game has won numerous awards and has been a big seller since its release last summer.
“Screen Gems’ Brian Dukes and Eric Ling brought this game to my attention insisting we go after it, and when I saw the quality of the storytelling, I knew the audience for this project was far greater than just the gaming community and that Neil Druckmann must write the screenplay,” Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper said. “I am thrilled that SCEA’s Riley Russell was able to get me in front of Neil and Evan Wells to plead my case. Sam and his team at Ghost House round out the perfect team to help realize Neil’s vision.” Read More »
Screen Gems‘ long-in-the-works redo of Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption now has a director: it’s The Expendables 3 helmer Patrick Hughes, who had been rumored for the gig for a while. The script is from Out Of The Furnace writer Brad Ingelsby and original producer XYZ Films is also producing the new one. Evans, who has already done a sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal, that comes out this month via Sony Pictures Classics, is executive producing and the original fight choreographers are involved too. The 2011 Indonesian actioner is centered on an elite DEA team trapped in a tenement run by a notorious drug lord, his assassins and personal army armed with machetes and machine guns. It gets ugly as they fight their way out. The pic was a hit at Toronto and Sony sibling Screen Gems snapped up remake rights soon after. Hughes and Ingelsby are both repped by WME, with Hughes also repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
As Deadline reported yesterday, it looks like Hollywood has a new king of the MLK Day weekend. A week after the record-breaking debut of Ride Along, Sony said today that it has booked Kevin Hart starrer The Wedding Ringer into next year’s holiday frame. The Screen Gems/Miramax comedy is slated for January 16, 2015, where it will exchange vows against Fox’s Frankenstein and Universal’s Untitled Michael Mann project. Hart stars as Jimmy, who provides best man services for socially challenged guys. One groom-to-be (Josh Gad) hires him — then goes so far as to name nine fake groomsmen. Jeremy Garelick is directing Wedding Ringer from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jay Lavender. Adam Fields and Will Packer are producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has bought the thriller spec The Unsacred by Amanda Gusack. The label is keeping the logline under wraps, but I’m told it’s The Possession meets The Haunting In Connecticut. So it sounds like a small budget film with a good chance to scare up an opening weekend. Peter and Alan Riche are producing and Scott Strauss is the exec. Paradigm and Stone Meyer Genow rep the scribe.
BREAKING: Marc Weinstock is out as president of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures, and I’m hearing that Dwight Caines is the odds-on favorite to replace him. Caines has strategized Sony’s online marketing activities on its films and has been considered an heir apparent. I’m told that Weinstock could stay in the Sony fold; he might end up in a high position alongside Clint Culpepper at Screen Gems, where he had done marketing until he moved up in the Sony ranks. Sony insiders confirmed Weinstock is out but said nothing else has been sealed.
This is the second such move that has happened at Sony, after movie PR guy Steve Elzer lost his post. All of this comes after Sony Pictures had a rough summer with the films After Earth, Elysium, The Smurfs 2, White House Down. It was a rough enough summer that shareholder Daniel Loeb lambasted Sony management and was, in turn, zinged by George Clooney as not understanding the ebb and flow of film business hits and misses. The Weinstock situation is a surprise because he is a highly regarded marketing executive, one of those guys who can sell ice to eskimos. He has been hands-on in Sony and Screen Gems releases. Looks like another fall guy for a bad run. The first casualty is often the marketing guy.
Production is underway on The Wedding Ringer, the formerly untitled Kevin Hart comedy being directed by Jeremy Garelick in his feature helming debut. Among the finalized cast in the pic that co-stars Josh Gad and Kaley Cuoco, Mimi Rogers, Affion Crockett and Ken Howard: Olivia Thirlby, Jorge Garcia, Cloris Leachman, Dan Gill, Corey Holcomb, Colin Kane, Jenifer Lewis, Alan Ritchson, Ignacio Serricchio, Aaron Takahashi, and Nicky Whelan. The film was written under the title The Golden Tux by Garelick and Jay Lavender back when they were writing partners on films like The Break-Up. It centers on Hart, a charismatic guy who provides best man services for socially challenged guys who can’t get somebody to agree to stand by them on the day of their wedding. Gad plays a groom-to-be who finds himself in just such a situation, but, to make matters worse, he fabricates the names of not only a best man but nine groomsmen as well. When all else fails, he seeks out Jimmy’s services to carry out a charade designed to make him look his best but threatens to destroy everything if it fails. Miramax’s Adam Fields and Will Packer are producing. Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper is overseeing the production on behalf of Screen Gems.
The second trailer for MGM/Screen Gems’ Carrieremake may spoil all the iconic scenes from the 1976 original. But Sissy Spacek’s telekinetic heroine never had to deal with mean girls in the cell phone age. Chloe Moretz stars as Stephen King‘s misfit teen opposite Julianne Moore as her Christ-crazy ma in the October 18 pic directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry). Check it out:
The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, the adaptation of the first of Cassandra Clare’s novels, opens August 21 in the U.S. and the UK. The trailer below is a slightly different take on the first which was released last November. Lily Collins stars as Clary, a seemingly ordinary girl who discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. Jamie Campbell Bower, Lena Headey, Aidan Turner, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Kevin Zegers and Jared Harris also star. Director Harald Zwart is starting the sequel, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes, this fall.
BREAKING: Screen Gems and Miramax are collaborating on a currently untitled comedy that will star Think Like A Man‘s Kevin Hart and The Book Of Mormon‘s Josh Gad. Jeremy Garelick will make his feature directing debut on the film, which was written under The Golden Tux by Garelick and Jay Lavender back when they were writing partners on films like The Break-Up. They wrote this one for Miramax. In the comedy, Hart plays a charismatic guy who provides best man services for socially challenged guys, who can’t get somebody to agree to stand by them on the day of their wedding. Gad plays a groom-to-be who finds himself in just such a situation, but, to make matters worse, he fabricates the names of not only a best man but nine groomsmen as well. When all else fails, Doug seeks out Jimmy’s services to carry out a charade designed to make Doug look his best but threatens to destroy everything if it fails.
Miramax’s Adam Fields and Will Packer are producing the film. Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper will oversee the project on behalf of Screen Gems. Hart next will be seen in his concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain being released in July. In addition to starring in Screen Gems’ Think Like a Man, Hart will also be seen in Screen Gems’ upcoming projects About Last Night and Think Like a Man Too. Gad just opened in The Internship and the upcoming Jobs and Thanks For Sharing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Adam Brody is set for the sequel Think Like A Man Too. His character Isaac is a former frat brother of Kevin Hart’s Cedric who shows up and, to everyone’s surprise, is white. The movie, like the first 2012 Screen Gems film, is based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling relationships book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, who penned the original, are writing the sequel, which is due out June 20, 2014 from Sony Pictures. Before then, former The O.C. star Brody will be seen in the upcoming Lovelacewith Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard and James Franco. After its debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year and getting picked up by Radius-TWC soon afterward, the Linda Lovelace biopic is scheduled to come out later this year. Brody plays Lovelace’s Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems in the film. Additionally, Brody is also in Neil LaBute’s Some Girls, Fox Searchlight’s Baggage Claim and the comedy Life Partners. He is repped by UTA.
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has set Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez and Olivia Munn to star in Beware The Night, a film that re-teams Clint Culpepper’s Sony-based company with The Exorcism Of Emily Rose tandem of Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman. The film is a paranormal thriller that will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Derrickson will direct a script he and Boardman wrote and shooting will begin May 20 in the Bronx.
The film reunites Bana with Bruckheimer; they previously worked together on Black Hawk Down, one of the films that sprung Bana’s movie career. Here, Bana plays an Irish Catholic cop working a case when he meets a renegade priest. Despite the cop’s beliefs, he’s convinced by the priest that there is a demonic element and together they work to solve the case and combat the paranormal forces working against them. Ramirez plays the priest. Munn plays the cop’s wife, who also has a tie to the case. Screen Gems is hoping this will blossom into a franchise. Chad Oman and Mike Stenson will be exec producers.
“Beware The Night is a project we’ve been developing for many years, confident that a story which combines the paranormal with a gritty New York City police story is both original and strongly appealing to audiences,” Bruckheimer said. “We’re … Read More »
It’s a tough road to fully wipe clear the iconic images of Brian De Palma’s 1976 original, based on the Stephen King book about a loner high school girl whose crazy mom and the mean kids at school eventually get the brunt of her blossoming telekinetic powers. But this first trailer for MGM/Screen Gems’ remake of Carrie– starring Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore and directed by Kimberly Peirce – does a pretty good job of setting its own ominous tone. Plus, with increased focus on bullying in our schools these days, the redo takes on new meaning. The pic is due out October 18.
Screen Gems and MGM‘s remake stars Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz, who’s seen here for the first time as Stephen King’s idea of the girl next door. Kimberly Peirce directed Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s script for Carrie, which is due out March 15, 2013.
Los Angeles – October 9, 2012 – Screen Gems has preemptively closed a deal to develop the feature film based on the highly anticipated young-adult fantasy series “Black City” written by Elizabeth Richards. The first book in the series, “Black City,” will be released this coming November 13 via publisher Putnam Juvenile, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. Screen Gems moved quickly to complete the rights deal for the series based on the high level of anticipation for the property in the online community and other young adult circles. Screen Gems is currently searching for a screenwriter to adapt the material for film.
“Black City” tells the story of a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable–they fall in love.
EXCLUSIVE: Parenthood’s Joy Bryant has won the female lead in the currently untitled Screen Gems’ romantic comedy that is based on the David Mamet play Sexual Perversity In Chicago, which was turned into the film About Last Night. Bryant will join Michael Ealy (in the role originated by Rob Lowe), Kevin Hart (in the Jim Belushi role), and Regina Hall (in the Elizabeth Perkins role). Steve Pink is directing a script by Bachelorette‘s Leslye Headland, and production will begin on September 17, with Will Gluck and Will Packer. They are in the process of retitling the film, which is closer in spirit to Mamet’s play than About Last Night, but which will take place in Los Angeles and not the Chicago setting of the play and first film.
“Since I first saw her in Antwone Fisher, I could tell she was going to be a movie star, and I’ve offered her several things that didn’t work out for one reason another,” said Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper. “Finally, it looks like this is going to work out because the Parenthood line producer and creator have given us warm assurances they will move mountains to make this possible for her. I really believe this will be the one that makes her a movie star. This girl is funny, smart, gorgeous and a good actress and … Read More »