Fox has put in development Atlantis, a drama project written by feature writers Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air) and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down). The project, from Sony Pictures TV and Turner and Jennifer Klein’s studio-based Vendetta Prods, follows two estranged brothers, who — along with a ragtag crew and a billion dollar state-of-the-art vessel — begin a search for the lost city of Atlantis, discovering mysteries of the deep sea along the way. Atlantis reunites Turner and Klein with Nolan. Last season, the trio developed drama Black Friday at ABC with Nolan writing. This is Vendetta’s third sale this year, along with Frayed, also at Fox, which is written by Turner, and Never Look Away at NBC. Nolan, who has feature script Rocket’s Red Glare set up at Sony on the feature side, is with CAA, which also reps Vendetta.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has put in development Frayed, a thriller drama written by Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air), which has received a script commitment plus penalty. It is based on the Dutch miniseries Bellicher, which in turn was an adaptation of the novel The Power Of Mr. Miller by Dutch author Charles den Tex. Frayed hails from Sony TV, Turner and Jennifer Klein’s studio-based Vendetta and Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya’s Scripted World. It centers on an arrogant and entitled corporate consultant who gets embroiled in a grand conspiracy that forces him to go on the run. As his entire life unravels, he’ll come to realize that the only man who can help him is a perpetually paranoid and possibly delusional former NSA agent. I hear Turner was drawn to the format because of his love for ’70s thrillers like The Conversation, The Parallax View and Three Days Of The Condor. The original four-hour miniseries, produced by Pupkin Films, aired in 2010 on Netherlands’ VPRO. (check out the trailer with English subtitles below). It was followed by the 2012 six-episode sequel mini Bellicher: Cel based on den Tex’s novel of the same name. The Fox series adaptation is executive produced by Turner, Klein, Golenberg and Aranya. This marks Vendetta’s first sale under the first-look deal with Sony TV inked this past summer.
EXCLUSIVE: Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein have signed a first-look deal at Sony Pictures Television for their Vendetta Prods. Under the pact, the two will continue to develop and executive produce series for the broadcast networks while also expanding into cable, with Turner set to write some of the projects. Since launching Vendetta in 2011, Turner and Klein had been based at ABC Studios where they most recently set up Skindeep, written by Sheldon, and Black Friday, penned by Ken Nolan, at ABC this past season.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has acquired Borderland, a gritty action thriller that Sheldon Turner will write with an eye toward directing. The tone is modern-day Western meets Magnificent Seven; when a resort town is overrun by cartel violence, a newly installed mayor hires a band of ex and current Special Forces operatives to train them to fight back. The border town becomes a battleground and the operatives get in over their heads. The intention is to give an authentic depiction of post-war life for elite soldiers. Jennifer Klein will produce through Vendetta, the production shingle she and Turner set up together.
Turner, Oscar-nominated for co-writing Up In The Air, will work on this as he finalizes plans to make his feature directing debut on Two Minutes To Midnight, a script of his that had originally been set at Fox but which Klein and Turner got back in turnaround. Turner is also attached to helm By Virtue Fall, which is set at QED and has Armie Hammer and Eric Bana attached. Klein is producing both of those pictures as well as Everest, the Turner-scripted film that Doug Liman will direct at Sony with Tom Hardy attached to play George Mallory. Liman’s Hypnotic partner Dave Bartis is also producing and it will be Liman’s next film.
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Black Friday, a drama written by feature scribe Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) and executive produced by another feature writer, Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air) through Vendetta Prods., his production company with Jennifer Klein. ABC Studios, where Vendetta is based, will produce.
Black Friday is an action thriller that follows a guy who unexpectedly finds himself in the center of a perilous event where he is responsible for the safety of others. The show follows him as he works to uncover the conspiracy responsible for the event while also following the personal lives of those surrounding him. Nolan, Sheldon and Klein executive produce. This marks Vendetta’s second sale this season, along with family soap SkinDeep at ABC, which is being written by Turner.
Warner Bros is working on not one but two high-profile films about the illegal poaching and trafficking in endangered animals around the world. Both projects are being produced by Tobey Maguire‘s Material Pictures, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Tom Hardy‘s Executive Options. I don’t know if both of these projects get made, but at a time when Hollywood studios are preoccupied with pretend crises like zombies and vampires, bravo for a major to step up and try to weave in a global problem like ivory trafficking into a drama.
The first project is being written by Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner as a star vehicle for Hardy, based on an idea by the Dark Knight Rises and Warrior star. The untitled film is set in Africa and the aim is for Hardy to play a former Special Forces soldier who signs on with a friend to work in the bush, training rangers to fight off the poachers decimating the rhino and elephant populations in Zimbabwe. The soldier falls in love with the land, and the animals he is trying to save. Given his skill set, this spells bad news for the poachers. Also producing is Dean Baker, who is Hardy’s producing partner, and Paul Grey, along with Hardy, Maguire and DiCaprio. Hardy is working with Turner and producers Jennifer Klein and Dave Bartis on Everest, the Sony film that Doug Liman intends to direct, with Hardy playing British climber George Mallory and his attempts to become the first man to scale Everest and make it back alive.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Hardy is in early talks to star in Everest for Sony Pictures. He will play George Mallory, the climber who tried three times in the 1920s to become the first man to scale the world’s highest mountain. Doug Liman will direct the film after he completes All You Need Is Kill at Warner Bros with Tom Cruise. An adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths Of Glory, Everest has been adapted by Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air). Jennifer Klein is producing, and Dave Bartis, Liman’s partner at Hypnotic, will also be a producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman has climbed aboard Everest, a Sony Pictures drama about George Mallory and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain. The film, an adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths Of Glory, has a script by Sheldon Turner. Jennifer Klein is producing. Liman has several projects percolating, including Luna, a moon mission film that Paramount Pictures and New Regency are trying to make work, as well as Warner Bros’ Dante Harper-scripted drama All You Need Is Kill. Liman, who directed the action hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is himself an avid climber and a fan of the Mallory story. He is in the midst of a deal to supervise the next draft by Turner with the intention to direct a film that is a priority at Sony Pictures.
EXCLUSIVE: Frequent collaborators Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein are launching a company together. The company, Vendetta, will be based at ABC Studios with a first-look deal. Under the two-year pact, Up In the Air co-writer Turner will write one script himself and he and Klein will shepherd projects with other writers. Turner and Klein will executive produce all projects developed under the deal, which sprung from the relationship they developed with ABC and ABC Studios this past development season when the two executive produced a Vice President drama project titled Number Two, which Turner co-wrote with Shaun Cassidy. Turner and Klein are expected to bring a feature mentality to their development and shepherd big-event shows with feature writers.
In addition to Number Two, Turner and Klein have sold together as producers Broken to FX, which Turner wrote; drama Michael Chance to NBC, written by Julie Golden; and half-hour comedy The True Adventures of a Terrible Dater, written by Susan Brightbill. On the feature side, the two are producing the Turner-written By Virtue Fall, which will mark Turner’s directorial debut. The project is currently casting, with Eric Bana, James Spader, Carla Gugino, Ryan Phillippe and Connie Britton already on board. Turner also wrote Sony’s Everest, which is now out to directors.
A Writers Guild arbitration upheld the WGA decision that Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn deserve screenplay credit on X-Men: First Class, with Sheldon Turner (who wrote an origin film about Magneto) and Bryan Singer (who wrote an outline for the film at the beginning) …