EXCLUSIVE: Newly launched BiFrost Pictures has come aboard to produce and finance Shelter, Paul Bettany‘s upcoming directorial debut. Bettany also wrote the NYC-set feature which is set to star Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie. Filming starts later this year in the Manhattan area with Robert Ogden Barnum, Katie Mustard and Bettany producing alongside BiFrost’s Daniel Wagner. Cassian Elwes, Aimee Sheih, Melanie Greene, Dana Brown, and Clay Floren are executive producers. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Voltage Pictures will take the project to Toronto next month repping international rights while Elwes and UTA rep domestic rights. “It’s my intention to surround myself with hugely talented people and then claim all the credit. I have great actors, great producers and a great city to shoot in- plus I’m hoping to keep alive the time-honored tradition sacred to directors and seduce my leading actress,” said Bettany.
EXCLUSIVE: After an extensive search, the last pilot lead this season has been cast. Zachary Abel (Make It Or Brake It) has landed the lead role in the CW’s Mark Schwahn/J.J. Abrams drama pilot Shelter. Also cast in the Warner Bros TV-produced pilot is Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries). Shelter is set at historic New England summer resort Shelter Bay where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own. Abel, repped by APA and Caliber Media, will play the hopelessly romantic Mitchell Taylor, a 23-year-old former local baseball hero who now works the concierge desk at the Shelter Bay Inn. Jow, repped by Sweeney Entertainment and Todd Rubenstein, will play Morgan, Shelter Bay’s resident party girl.
The Cape star David Lyons has been cast in the JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke NBC drama pilot, directed by Jon Favreau, about a group of survivors in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist. He will play the charismatic Marine Bass, a role which became vacant after Billy Burke, who was originally cast in the role, was just promoted to play the lead Miles. Burke’s deal for that has now closed. Also cast in the pilot is Maria Howell in the supporting role of the regal and fiercely intelligent Grace.
Trent Ford (The Vampire Diaries) has been cast in a supporting role in another Abrams-produced drama pilot, the CW’s Shelter, set at an historic New England summer resort. Ford, repped by Global Artists Agency and Luber Roklin, will play Tyler Green, a former British rock star staying in the penthouse at the Shelter Bay Inn.
NeNe Leakes, who has been recurring on the current season of Glee as rival cheerleading coach Roz Washington, is re-teaming with Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy on his NBC comedy pilot The New Normal, about a blended family of a gay couple and their surrogate. On the project, co-created by Ali Adler, The Real Housewives Of Atlanta star NeNe will play the heavily recurring role of Rocky. She is with The Collective and attorney Darrell Miller.
EXCLUSIVE: I Hate My Teenage Daughter star Jaime Pressly is making a dramatic turn with a co-starring role in NBC’s drama pilot Bad Girls. Adapted from the long-running UK series, the John Wells/Warner Bros. TV project follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women in a federal prison. Pressly will play prison warden Melinda, a sexy, ominous woman with a sadistic streak enjoying cat-and-mouse games with her inmates who are terrified by her. The project is formally in second position to Fox’s Teenage Daughter, which also is produced by Warner Bros. The freshman comedy has been de facto cancelled after Fox pulled it from the schedule earlier this week. This marks Pressly’s return to NBC where she co-starred on comedy My Name Is Earl, which earned her an Emmy.
Newcomer Hannah New and Eka Darville have landed lead roles in the CW’s Mark Schwahn/J.J. Abrams drama pilot Shelter. Produced by Warner Bros TV, Shelter is set at historic New England summer resort Shelter Bay where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own. New will play the lead role of Kathryn Gilchrist, who is at Shelter Bay for her wedding. This marks the first acting gig in her native language for …
Newcomer Elizabeth Henstridge has become the first cast member in the CW’s Mark Schwahn/J.J. Abrams drama pilot Shelter. Produced by Warner Bros TV, Shelter is set at a historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own. British actress Henstridge, repped by Flutie Entertainment and the UK’s Lois Harvey, will play Grace, an overachiever and newly promoted hotel manager at the Shelter Bay, where the show is set.
Merle Dandridge and Teri Reeves have been added to the cast of NBC’s drama pilot Chicago Fire starring Jesse Spencer. On Wolf Films and Universal TV’s action-driven drama about the complex and heroic men and women of the Chicago Fire Department, Dandridge will play the team’s humorless boss Kay Fitori. Reeves, repped by SDB Partners and New Wave, will play Spencer’s ex-wife. Dandridge, also repped by SDB, recently recurred on Sons Of Anarchy.
Swingtown alum Grant Show and Mariana Klaveno (True Blood) have joined the cast of the ABC pilot Devious Maids, a primetime soap from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Based on the Mexican format, Devious Maids …
The CW today gave the green light to three more drama pilots: J.J. Abrams and Mark Schwahn’s Shelter; Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain’s The Selection; and Bert Royal’s Joey Dakota, which has Mark Harmon executive producing. That brings the total number of hourlong pilots picked up at the CW this year to eight, which is at the high end of projections and a record for the 6-year-old network. The CW also re-entered the comedy arena this development season with several scripts. Word is that the network still may order 1-2 half-hour pilots, but they will likely be off-cycle.
Shelter, written by One Tree Hill creator/showrunner Schwahn and produced by Warner Bros TV, is set at a historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own. WME-repped Abrams and Schwahn are executive producing through their companies Bad Robot and Mastermind Laboratories, along with Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk. This marks Abrams’ first project at the CW. It reunites him with CW president Mark Pedowitz and EVP Development Thom Sherman, who worked with him at ABC and ABC Studios. Most recently, Pedowitz was president of ABC Studios, where Abrams was under an overall deal before moving to WBTV in 2006, and Sherman ran Abrams’ production company Bad Robot for two years before joining …