Warner Bros has emerged as the frontrunner for the hot project in town. The studio is in talks for U.S. and Canadian rights for The Nice Guys. Reps for the sellers say others are not out of the mix yet, but it sounds like this is how it will go down. It could be a big project. Shane Black will direct, and Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are circling the leads. This is a script that Black co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, and Joel Silver is producing. It would reunite the writer and producer with the studio that made Lethal Weapon, one of Warner Bros’ most lucrative franchises. In The Nice Guys, a private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.
LOS ANGELES (June 4, 2013) – Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced its annual Sunday “Coffee Talks” programming for June 16. The four talks will take place over the course of one day and feature Directors, Actors, Composers and Screenwriters, including Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Hell on Wheels), Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike), Drew Pearce (Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3), Karen McCullah (Legally Blonde, The Ugly Truth), Atticus Ross (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) and more. Additionally, the Festival announced KCRW’s The Treatment at the Los Angeles Film Festival will take place on June 19 with Host/Film Independent at LACMA Curator Elvis Mitchell and filmmaker Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Better Luck Tomorrow). The Festival will celebrate the 20 anniversary of Film Independent’s Project Involve, which will include the world premiere of Life of a King, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. on June 22.
BREAKING: Sony has just closed a deal with Shane Black to co-write and direct Doc Savage, a movie based on the 1930s and ’40s pulp novel hero. He co-wrote the screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, and Columbia Pictures says he’s eyeing it as his next project. Neal H. Moritz is producing the project with Ori Marmur through his Original Film banner. Michael Uslan will also be a producer. “We couldn’t be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team”, said Columbia production president Hannah Hannah Minghella, who made the announcement today with Columbia president Doug Belgrad. “Shane and Neal have a fantastic understanding of the character and a great take on the material and we can’t wait to get this production up and running.”
Doc Savage was a multiplatformer even back in the day, popularized on radio, film and TV. He was a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher with outstanding strength, a photographic memory, and vast knowledge and intelligence. He uses those skills and powers to fight evil.
EXCLUSIVE: Drew Pearce has been chosen by Marvel Studios to write Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his signature Tony Stark role, and Marvel recently locked Downey’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang helmer Shane Black to direct. Pearce got the job after writing the script for Runaways, a Marvel project based on the cult comic by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan about children of super villains who try to use their evil powers for heroic purposes. Pearce is the British writer who created the irreverent UK TV series No Heroics, about a bar hangout for superheroes, who aren’t allowed to use their superpowers while drinking. That project had Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist director Pete Sollett attached and seemed on a fast track. It is still at Marvel, but the company is concentrating on its other big superhero franchises first.
Pearce is in talks to jump on one of Marvel’s biggest hits, and I’m told the plan is for him to start from scratch and work closely with Black. Iron Man 3 will be released May 3, 2013 through Disney.
After dropping out of the Alfonso Cuaron-directed Gravity, word is Robert Downey Jr is eyeing Inherent Vice, an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon mystery novel. Downey would play Larry “Doc” Sportello, a private eye based in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. He’s a believer in the psychedelic free-love era, and his case involves an ex-girlfriend, her real estate billionaire boyfriend and a kidnapping. Downey is next booked to star in Iron Man 3, and has given his blessing to his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black to replace Jon Favreau. Not surprisingly, there was no comment from Downey’s camp. CAA will piece together the funding for Anderson’s next film, and the director likes to be discreet about them. He had been attached to direct The Master, with his Boogie Nights buddy Phil Seymour Hoffman attached to play a guy who hatches a belief system that mushrooms into a religion, and Jeremy Renner was eyeing the role of his right-hand man. Reese Witherspoon was also in the loop. That project got dropped by Universal, which choked on a $35 million budget, but a combination of Warner Bros and Cross Creek Pictures and another financier was in place to fund a streamlined version of the picture. Stay tuned. Downey just wrapped the Sherlock Holmes sequel at Warner Bros.
EXCLUSIVE: The ever secretive Marvel Studios is in final negotiations with Shane Black to direct Iron Man 3 set to be released on May 3, 2013. As you know , IM1 and IM2 director Jon Favreau begged off to helm Magic Kingdom at Disney so his relationship with the franchise ran its course. Shane is first and foremost a writer but it’s not clear whether he’ll be penning the IM3 script as well. “That’s not figured out,” our source says. Of course, everyone in and around Marvel is keeping mum. But Black has a long relationship with Robert Downey Jr since Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Not only did Shane make his directing debut on the 2005 cult favorite he co-wrote, but it helped re-launch Downey Jr’s career. When news leaked out that Marvel was meeting with several directors including Shane, fanboys approved. So they should exult now that negotiations are wrapping up with Black’s agency WME and manager David Greenblatt’s GreenLit Creative. We recall the days way back when that unknown Black submitted a spec script over the transom to Greenblatt who was then a young ICM lit agent. Greenblatt in those days read scripts by wannabes and the two became an inseparable team that continues to this day. (For the uninitiated, Greenblatt was one of the founders of Endeavor, which is now WME.) Black was the screenwriter behind Lethal Weapon 1 and 2 and The Last …
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has hired Shane Black to direct a live action adaptation of the Japanese manga series Death Note. Black will oversee a script that’s being written by Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, his accomplices on Doc Savage, a drama he’ll direct for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Doug Davison and Brian Witten are producing Death Note.
Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, Death Note was originally published in Japan and later collected in 12 trade paperbacks that have sold more than 38 million copies worldwide. The protagonist, Light, is a bright student who stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous FBI criminal profiler known only by the alias L. Death Note is wildly popular in Japan and has been turned into live action and animated films, an animated TV series, novels and vidgames. The trio of live action films were distributed by Warner Bros Japan. Warner Bros acquired the manga rights from Shueisha and previously got a script draft from Charley and Vlas Parlapanides.