EXCLUSIVE: Sheldon Turner has been hired by New Regency and Ubisoft to write a new draft of Splinter Cell, turning this video game adaptation into a reunion of another movie that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll explain. Turner wrote the Sony Pictures film Everest, about the attempt by George Mallory to be first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Doug Liman is set to direct that film and Tom Hardy is starring in it. But the picture got postponed after another film called Everest took the hill first, this one about a 1996 climb that turned deadly when a blizzard hit just as the climbers were about to reach the top. Universal Pictures, Working Title and Cross Creek are in production right now, with Sam Worthington and Robin Wright recently joining Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Emily Watson and Thomas Wright in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film.
Even though they didn’t get to the start line on the project, Hardy, Liman and Turner must have had a good collaboration as they prepared. Hardy, who has long been attached as Splinter Cell star, first brought in Liman and now they’ve enlisted Turner. They will get this new version ready to shoot in August. American Hustle‘s Eric Warren Singer wrote the most recent draft. Turner is then scheduled to direct Borderland at Relativity. The hope … Read More »
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has acquired Jump, a spec script by John Scott Shepherd that Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein will produce through their Vendetta Entertainment. It is a romantic dramedy in the vein of Jerry Maguire, with a strong male role at the center. Shepherd recently created and executive produces NBC’s midseason comedy series Save Me, and he also created the ABC summer series The Days. Shepherd’s feature credits include Life Or Something Like It and Joe Somebody for Fox; his books include Henry’s List Of Wrongs, which originally sold to New Line in a seven-figure deal. Relativity will go right out to directors and actors. This is the first feature sale for Shepherd since he returned to Paradigm.
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ABC has bought SkinDeep, a drama project from Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner. The project hails from Turner and Jennifer Klein’s company Vendetta Prods., which has a first-look deal at ABC Studios. Turner will write SkinDeep, described as a sexy soap set against the backdrop of a family-run beauty empire. This marks new territory for Turner, who penned a darker, Jekyll & Hyde-themed medical drama for ABC last season and whose feature credits include Up In The Air and X-Men: First Class. Turner is making his feature directorial debut with By Virtue Fall, a gritty drama starring Eric Bana and Armie Hammer. He and Klein are executive producing SkinDeep through ABC Studios.
EXCLUSIVE: After he finishes playing the title role opposite Johnny Depp in Disney’s The Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer is planning to take a dark turn in By Virtue Fall. That is the gritty drama that will mark the directing debut of Up In The Air co-scribe Sheldon Turner. Hammer will play an ATF agent framed on a corruption beef and sent to a maximum security federal prison. He turns into a badass to survive, and when he emerges from that hellhole, he devotes himself to getting revenge on the person who destroyed his life: his former partner (Eric Bana). QED is funding the film and Jennifer Klein is producing with Turner. Hammer will be busy with The Lone Ranger until the summer, and the film will start later this year. Turner wrote the script.
By Virtue Falls gives Hammer the opportunity to play a different kind of character after the Winkelvoss twins in The Social Network, Clyde Tolson in J Edgar and Prince Charming in the upcoming Mirror Mirror. Hammer plans to bulk up and shave his head to play the ATF agent, who puts on the bulk to survive in prison. It will also remind Hollywood Hammer was once set to play Batman in the Justice League movie before Warner Bros halted that film to focus on separate Batman and Superman films. Hammer is repped by WME.
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. Read More »
ABC is taking a closer look at the workings of U.S.’ top intelligence agencies with two new drama script buys, Safehouse, and Murder Season. Both shows hail from ABC Studios and studio-based producers: Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein and their company Vendetta (Safehouse) and Castle executive producer Laurie Zaks (Murder Season).
Safehouse, which will be written by Chris Hollier, centers on a young, brash CIA agent who joins a crew of agency professionals. The one catch? It’s headed by his long-estranged superspy mother. Murder Season, written by Moira Kirland, focuses on a gifted but troubled female FBI profiler. While working with an elite team to catch the country’s worst criminals, she struggles to hide a dark secret from her past.
Safehouse and Murder Season mark second sales to ABC this season for both Vendetta and Zaks. Vendetta also has the Jekyll & Hyde-inspired Hyde, which is being written by Turner, while Zaks is behind hourlong 1970s music drama Lockharts, penned by Michael Gans and Richard Register. Hollier is with UTA and manager Susan Landau.
EXCLUSIVE: Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic split-personality tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is getting a contemporary interpretation with Hyde, a drama series project from Up In the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner and ABC Studios that has been set up at ABC. This marks the first sale for Sheldon and Jennifer Klein’s recently launched company Vendetta, which has a first-look deal at ABC Studios. Turner will write Hyde, which centers on Grant Hyde, a thirtysomething ER doctor with a degenerative eye condition who is conflict-averse and hesitant to be captain of his own destiny. After attempting an experimental treatment to improve his eyesight, he begins to experience a strange side effect — when he goes to sleep, his id manifests itself as Hyde, a fearless, gregarious personality who takes control where Grant cannot. Turner and Klein will executive produce the project, described as an odd buddy show where the buddies happen to be the same person. Going into this development season, the Jekyll & Hyde lore was one of the areas ABC was looking to mine. On TV, it last was tackled on NBC’s short-lived drama My Own Worst Enemy. ABC has been actively exploiting popular public domain concepts over the past year. The network has the Brothers Grimm fairytale-themed series Once Upon a Time coming up, along with Revenge, a contemporary female-centered take on The Count of Monte Cristo.
EXCLUSIVE: Limitless helmer Neil Burger is in talks to team up with screenwriter Sheldon Turner and producers Sean and Bryan Furst and Marissa McMahon to bring to the screen a new version of the Depression Era outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Rights have been acquired by financier McMahon and her Kamala Films banner on Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, a book by Jeff Guinn published last year by Simon & Schuster. The book paints a less romanticized version than the 1967 Arthur Penn-directed film that starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. For one thing, the outlaws were just 22 when they were gunned down by a former Texas Ranger after they’d killed seven people. The first person Clyde Barrow killed was the cell mate who had sexually abused him repeatedly. Barrow had a strong code of honor: when a lifer in the prison took the rap for the killing, Barrow and his gang broke him out. The book also suggests that Bonnie Parker was a prostitute before joining up with and eventually going down in a hail of bullets with Barrow. The project’s financier, McMahon, is the wife of Shane McMahon, the son of the pro wrestling mogul Vince McMahon. Burger’s not committed. He’s booked to next direct Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the Sony Pictures adaptation of the video game. Turner will write the script before directing By Virtue Fall with financing from QED later this … Read More »
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. Read More »
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) getting story credit. There were more writers on the films than mutants in it and a skirmish unfolded for script credit. The Vaughn-directed Fox film opens June 3.