EXCLUSIVE: Carla Hacken has been named president of production at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Hacken, who set up a producing label at DreamWorks after a 15-year tenure as an executive at Fox 2000 and a short stay at New Regency, will start her new job March 17. She will oversee both film and TV projects for Sidney Kimmel’s company.
Hacken seems well suited to return to the executive suite. Hired at Fox 2000 from ICM by Laura Ziskin, she worked closely with Elizabeth Gabler and oversaw such Fox 2000 films as Walk The Line, The Devil Wears Prada, Unfaithful, The Family Stone, and the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Percy Jackson franchises. “Carla is a dynamic, creative executive who brings with her a wealth of experience and an undisputed respect and standing in the business,” said SKE president Jim Tauber. “Her leadership, insights and obvious skills will be invaluable to SKE as we expand our film and television production.”
Hacken tells me she hopes to bring to SKE some of the projects she set at her DreamWorks-based Paper Pictures label. Among those are Francesca Haig’s science fiction trilogy Fire Sermon, which Nicole Perlman is writing; the non-fiction book proposal The Noble Assassin along with Michael Sugar and Anonymous Content, about a WWII French aristocrat who joined the British Special Operations before helping organize the French resistance, with True Detective‘s Cary Fukunaga attached to direct; the Lionsgate-based thriller The Leaves with Gotham Chopra; Suess, the Black List script that has Colin Firth attached to play children’s author Theodor Geisel; an adaptation of Ruth Reichl’s Delicious; and The Man Who Forgot His Wife for CBS Films. There are television projects in the mix as well, including an adaptation of the Wendy Ruderman/Barbara Laker memoir Busted, with Prada’s David Frankel attached to direct and produce with Hacken. Read More »
Bill Burr, Liz Carey, Willie Garson, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Oliver Hudson, Alphonso McAuley, Kevin Nealon, Tig Notaro, Ethan Suplee and Sarah Wright will join Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden in Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment‘s Walk Of Shame. Steven Brill wrote and is directing the comedy, about a high-strung news anchor (Banks) who, after a wild night out, finds herself locked out on the street with no phone, money, ID or car, and embarks on a series of misadventures as she finds her way to the most important job interview of her life. Gillian Jacobs and Ken Davitian also are aboard. Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Sidney Kimmel.
EXCLUSIVE: Neophyte scribes Annie Harnick and Nick Cion have made their first pitch sale to Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, for an untitled romantic comedy that is aimed at a young audience. The newcomers certainly know the terrain, as Harnick is a junior at Harvard and Cion is a junior at Princeton. Each is 20 years old, making them far younger than most of the scribes Deadline writes about.
They were repped in the deal by ICM Partners, and there is a back story here. Esther Newberg, the powerhouse ICM publishing agent, asked her West Coast counterparts to read a script by the duo, called The Valedictorian. She didn’t tell them who the writers were. And the agents swear that it wasn’t until after they sparked to the script and moved to sign the writers that Newberg admitted that Cion is her great nephew. The agents sent out their script, and got 21 positive responses to the 22 producers.
The scribes met with all the producers. In their meeting with SKE’s Sidney Kimmel and his production president Matt Berenson, they mentioned another project idea. That resulted in their first deal, and while Kimmel didn’t want to blow the concept by revealing it, it must have been good because it’s only the second pitch the company has bought in its history. While The Valedictorian didn’t sell in the first round of meetings, the agency will refocus the effort on the indie set. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has acquired Comancheria, a feature spec script by actor Taylor Sheridan. SKE will finance and produce with Film 44, whose principal Peter Berg is eyeing the pic as a potential directing vehicle. Sheridan played a cop on Sons of Anarchy who was killed in one of the many surprising developments in that FX series.
The fact that he has writing talent is another surprise. I’m told that Endgame Entertainment and Focus Features also chased Sheridan’s spec. The plot: two brothers, one an ex-con and the other a divorced father of two kids, face the foreclosure of their family’s West Texas farm. They team for a skillfully-calculated bank robbing spree that puts them on a collision course with two Texas Rangers determined to take them down. Film 44 and SKE previously worked together on Lars and the Real Girl. Sheridan’s repped by Gersh.
SKE wants to move quickly on this. Berg, who launches Battleship shortly, is going to next direct Lone Survivor, the Afghanistan-set Navy SEAL drama that Emmett/Furla will finance and Universal will distribute, with Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster circling lead roles. Timing could be an issue if they want to get underway sooner and Berg will be part of that decision as producer.
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment announced that it will co-finance and co-produce Mr Morgan’s Last Love, a comedic melodrama that has Michael Caine attached to star. The story is based on the Francoise Dorner novel La Douceur Assassine and centers on a retired, lonely American widower in Paris whose encounter with a free-spirited and vibrantly naive beautiful young French woman brightens his life. Together they share a precious moment that not only touches their hearts but changes their lives. Sandra Nettlebeck wrote the adaptation and is directing the film, which has begun shooting in Paris and co-stars Clémence Poésy, Justin Kirk, Jane Alexander, Anne Alvaro and Gillian Anderson. Bavaria Pictures, Kaminski Stiehm Film and Senator Film will co-produce with Belgium-based Scope Pictures and SKE in association with Elzevir Films. Sidney Kimmel will also produce, and SKE will rep domestic distribution rights; Bavaria Film reps foreign.
EXCLUSIVE: Eva Mendes is set and Greta Gerwig is in talks to star alongside Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper in The Place Beyond The Pines, a multi-generational crime drama that Blue Valentine’s Derek Cianfrance will direct for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. The drama tracks the tragic consequences of a showdown between a motorcycle rider-turned-bank robber (Gosling) and a cop-turned-politician (Cooper). Mendes will play the robber’s love interest and mother of his child, and Gerwig is in talks to play the politician’s wife.The film begins production next month. Mendes most recently starred in Last Night and The Other Guys while Gerwig starred in Arthur and Greenberg and has just begun shooting Lola Versus, the Daryl Wein-directed Fox Searchlight comedy that also stars The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman.
Kimmel, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky and Jamie Patricof will produce. SKE’s Jim Tauber and Matt Berenson will be exec producers. Howell, Orlovsky and Patricof teamed on Blue Valentine. Cianfrance wrote The Place Beyond the Pines with Ben Coccio. Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer is selling foreign.
UPDATE: Relativity Media has announced a four year foreign output deal with Tripictures. Tripictures will oversee the distribution of Relativity-produced features in Spain. This includes films Relativity is actively developing, producing, financing and distributing.
EARLIER: The Berlin press releases are flying today for films being sold at the market. Summit Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment Group and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment announced that Amanda Seyfried will star in Gone, a thriller to be directed by Heitor Dhalia from a script by Allison Burnett. Lakeshore and Sierra/Affinity are selling at the European Film Market…Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films are partnering on U.S. distribution rights for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, which will be directed by Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory from their script. Jason Sudeikis, Tyler Labine, Leslie Bibb, Will Forte and Lucy Punch head the cast. Essential Entertainment is selling international sales at Berlin.
EXCLUSIVE: Katherine Heigl, not Halle Berry, will be the one smooching Jon Bon Jovi in New Line’s ensemble romantic comedy New Year’s Eve. I’m told Berry has dropped out of the picture, which is just getting underway. Heigl was available because she recently withdrew from Adaline, a film that was supposed to shoot in March from Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Her reps said Heigl, who recently adopted her first child, didn’t want to go back to work right away. New Year’s Eve is the perfect job then, because it’s a true ensemble that won’t require a long production commitment from the actress. Heigl had been in early talks for the original film, the Marshall-directed Valentine’s Day, but a deal was never consummated. Losing Berry is a blow, but Heigl’s certainly a draw in the romantic comedy genre. The Garry Marshall-directed film stars Robert De Niro, Sofia Vergara, Russell Peters, Hilary Swank, Ice Cube, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Jessica Biel and Til Schweiger. Mike Karz and Wayne Rice are producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Channing Tatum is set to star in The Contortionist’s Handbook, the film adaptation of the Craig Clevenger novel that will be financed by GreeneStreet Films and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment as a co-production between those companies and DAS Films. Production will begin early next year.
Tatum will play a forger who moves smoothly from one identity to the next because of a strict code of conduct that keeps him from getting caught or having to deal with his own troubled past. That gets upended when he falls for a beautiful woman with her own dark secret. Robin Shushan wrote the script. The novel was published in 2002.
The film will be produced by Das Films’ Sriram Das, GreeneStreet’s John Penotti, Tim Williams and Sidney Kimmel. Tatum is aboard the project as co-producer, along with Reid Carolin, his partner in the shingle 33andout.
Stretching into a producing role with The Contortionist’s Handbook seems a logical progression for Tatum, the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra star who broadened into the romance genre with the hit Dear John. Tatum has been filming The Dilemma, the Ron Howard-directed comedy for Universal Pictures that stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, and next begins shooting The Vow opposite Rachel McAdams. Tatum just wrapped the Steven Soderbergh-directed Haywire. He’ll next star in the Kevin Macdonald-directed Focus Features drama The Eagle, playing a Roman soldier who ventures into the untamed … Read More »