Skydance Prods. and Annapurna Pictures, the companies behind the upcoming Terminator film trilogy, are expanding the franchise to television with a TV series to be done in conjunction with the first rebooted Terminator film slated for release in 2015. The series will be written and exec produced by feature scribes Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor), with the writers of the upcoming Terminator movie Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier serving as executive producers.
The series will follow a critical moment from the original 1984 Terminator movie, taking it in a completely different direction that the film. Plot details about the upcoming Terminator movie are being kept under wraps, but it too is expected to be tied to the first movie. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new television series progress, the two narratives will be designed to intersect with each other. (Thus the head-on involvement in the series of the new film’s writers Kalogridis and Lussier.) For now, Paramount, which is Skydance and Annapurna’s partner on the feature trilogy, is not involved in the TV series, but that could change down the line. Paramount is returning to television, recently relaunching a TV division. Skydance too recently expanded into television, landing its first series, The Manhattan Project, on WGN America. The companies’ plan to intertwine the narratives of movies and TV series is reminiscent of Marvel’s efforts with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and movies like Thor and The Avengers – but on a bigger scale. Imagine attempted to do something as ambitious with the adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower, which was envisioned as a movie trilogy with TV series bridging the films, but the project didn’t get off the ground. The Terminator TV series will be produced by Megan Ellison of Annapurna and David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross of Skydance.
The blockbuster Terminator franchise, which has earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, has spawned a TV series before: Fox’s 2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Casting of the Sarah Connor role in the upcoming film is now underway, with Arnold Schwarzenegger booked for a return as the title character. Stentz and Miller also wrote the upcoming films Starship Troopers and The Fall Guy. Their series credits include Fox’s Fringe.
Related: ‘Terminator’: Emilia Clarke, Brie Larson On Short List To Play Sarah Connor
EXCLUSIVE: Skydance Productions has set Christopher McQuarrie to write and direct Star Blazers, the live-action adaptation of the space-set 1970s anime TV series also known as Space Battleship Yamato. McQuarrie, Josh C. Kline, David Ellison and … Read More »
Skydance Productions has created a whole new job for Dana Goldberg. The David Ellison-run company’s former president of production, Goldberg has been promoted to the new position of CCO. In her new role, Goldberg will oversee all … Read More »
Paramount and Skydance have confirmed what I told you yesterday: Tom Cruise is back as star and producer of Mission: Impossible 5. No director or writer yet, officially. Here’s today’s release:
HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 7, 2013) – Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions has announced that Tom Cruise has signed-on to star and produce a 5th installment in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. The actor will reprise the role of Ethan Hunt, who was first introduced to moviegoers in 1996.
The project is expected to announce a writer and also a director shortly and will be developed by Cruise, Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, who served as producers on previous films in the hit series. Skydance Productions, who served as co-financers and executive producers of the last installment will work closely with the team in the development and production process.
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EXCLUSIVE: Ethan Hunt has accepted another mission. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have set Tom Cruise in a deal to star in and produce a fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Both Paramount and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure deal, David Ellison’s Skydance Productions has pre-emptively purchased an untitled global disaster film spec script written by Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot. Devlin will make his feature directing debut. Skydance’s Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce with Devlin and his Electric Entertainment team of Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan.
Devlin returns to the global destruction sandbox he played in when he and then-partner Roland Emmerich sold their Independence Day spec for millions, a guaranteed Fox green light and release date, and a global gross north of $800 million. They continued the destruction with Godzilla. While Emmerich continued crushing the planet with The Day After and 2012 (he and Devlin are working on two Independence Day sequels), Devlin formed Electric Entertainment and has put together movies (one was Flyboys, which featured avid aviator Ellison onscreen), and the Noah Wyle telepic series The Librarian. Devlin is currently exec producer of the TNT series Leverage. Guyot, Devlin’s co-writer on the spec, is supervising producer of that series. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Nearly 18 months after Megan Ellison pledged over $20 million for the rights to finish The Terminator‘s humanity vs the Skynet cyborgs storyline with a new series of films, she has finally closed the complicated rights deal with Pacificorp. Other than the fact no progress has been made all this time on a script, the surprise here is Ellison has enlisted her brother, David Ellison, to be her financial and creative partner. There is still no studio attached, but future Terminator films will be done as a co-production between her Annapurna Pictures and his Skydance Productions. The Ellisons will produce, while Dana Goldberg, Paul Schwake and Ted Schipper will be exec producers.
Even though Pacificorp spent $29.5 million several years ago to win the rights after Halcyon turned them over to bankruptcy court, insiders tell me that the big numbers in place 18 months ago have been adjusted downward. That is because of the uncomfortable specter of a ticking clock that has continued to wind down as no forward progress was being made. New copyright laws allow for North American rights to The Terminator to revert back to creator James Cameron in 2019 (that happens after 35 years, and The Terminator was 1984). While that law hasn’t been tested in the courts, no major film company would want to move forward on a project with a potentially catastrophic rights crisis looming. So the original pricey deal — made with the expectations there would be three films — was scaled down because the reality is they might only get to make two installments. Four films have been made so far, the first two directed by Cameron, another by Jonathan Mostow and the last, 2009′s Terminator Salvation, helmed by McG. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After directing Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, Christopher McQuarrie is poised to take on the next installment of Cruise’s signature tentpole. I’m told that McQuarrie is the choice to helm the fifth Mission: Impossible film that is in the early stages of being put together by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. They will hire writers before making it official, but he’s the guy that Cruise and JJ Abrams want.
M:I-5 is a big priority for the studio after the Brad Bird-directed Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol grossed just under $700 million worldwide. McQuarrie, who won the Oscar for scripting The Usual Suspects, has more recently become Cruise’s go-to guy as a writer. After collaborating with Cruise on Valkyrie, McQuarrie has had a credited or uncredited hand in most of Cruise’s recent films including All You Need Is Kill, Ghost Protocol (uncredited), and the Top Gun 2 film which is in limbo after the death of director Tony Scott. Paramount and Skydance also have McQuarrie developing to direct Without Remorse, the action thriller based on the Tom Clancy novel. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has closed its deal to acquire Our Name Is Adam, the T.S. Nowlin script that will have Tom Cruise play an astronaut who travels back in time and works with his younger self. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, which has been in the middle of the recent Paramount hits Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and True Grit, is making good on its promise to develop its own original material. Ellison has set Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier to script an original science fiction adventure based on an idea hatched at Skydance.
They are keeping the idea close to the vest. Kalogridis’ scripting credits include Shutter Island and Alexander, and she was exec producer of Avatar. With her Mythology Entertainment partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt, she’s producing White House Down, the Vanderbilt-scripted drama that Roland Emmerich will direct for Sony Pictures. As for Lussier, his script credits include Wes Craven’s Dracula trilogies, My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry. He is separately co-writing an untitled thriller for producer Jason Blum that Lussier will direct. Read More »
BREAKING: Details are sketchy at the moment, but Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products company is in negotiations to join David Ellison’s Skydance Productions. The deal would be uniquely structured, sources say; Skydance declined comment. Kurtzman and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rosamund Pike is negotiating for the female lead opposite Tom Cruise in One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the bestselling Lee Child novel series for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. Pike was among a small group … Read More »
Paramount Pictures has set Dec. 21, 2012 as the release date for World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie-infestation novel. The film is in production now, with Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos and James Badge … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have closed a deal with Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher in One Shot, the thriller based on the Lee Child bestselling book series about the former military policeman-turned-drifter. An early fall start date … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are negotiating with Tom Cruise to star this fall in One Shot, a thriller based on the Lee Child book series about former military policeman-turned-drifter Jack Reacher. Christopher McQuarrie will direct his script. The talks going on right now is for Cruise to make the movie before he stars in the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion at Universal, which starts in January.
Making a Cruise deal is always tricky, and if the One Shot deal takes awhile to come together, it would happen after Oblivion shoots next year. Paramount will co-finance the film with Skydance Productions, whose principal David Ellison also co-financed Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.
Fans of the Reacher book will have to absorb this development, because Cruise is very different physically from the bruising tough guy who has created mayhem over 15 bestselling novels that have sold 40 million copies. In the books, Reacher is 6’5,” about 250 pounds, and when you are on the business end of his clenched fists, you are most likely going to be spitting out teeth and getting fitted for a cast or two. Cruise has always been interested in the Reacher series. In fact, when he and Paula Wagner were partners at C/W, they optioned the book five years ago. Paramount has been developing ever since, but this is the closest that the Reacher franchise has to becoming a reality after years in development. So what if he’s not as tall and beefy as Reacher? I’m told that the author himself is excited about Cruise playing the role, that Cruise personifies the qualities Reacher displays in the books. As for Reacher’s hulking physical size, Child wasn’t locked into an oversized actor (one reason the film took so long to get off the ground), and it was more about establishing an intimidating presence.
“Reacher’s size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way,” Child said when he threw his support behind the move. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions is negotiating a rights deal to turn the 1970s animated science fiction TV series Star Blazers into a large scale live action feature. Ellison will hire Christopher McQuarrie to write the script, with Ellison and … Read More »
Let’s agree on this: Hollywood remains a haven for nepotism. It also opens its arms to anyone with money. So Oracle founder/CEO Larry Ellison’s 27-year-old son is welcomed as long as he’s coming up with $350M to co-fund movies. Funny how … Read More »
Jack Bender is atop the short list of directors to resuscitate the Tom Clancy-created Jack Ryan franchise, with Chris Pine playing the character in a contemporized original story that picks up Ryan before he joined the CIA. Paramount Pictures and co-financier Skydance Productions are readying for a February production start and I’ve heard Bender is the fave among a group of directors who’ve met on the coveted gig. He’s meeting today with Pine at the studio. The pic’s tentatively titled Moscow, and has a script by Adam Cozad. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are producing.
While Bender has features on his resume, his momentum comes from his work as director and exec producer on Lost, where he helmed the finale. He has also directed episodes of Alias, The Sopranos, and many other series. Paramount long ago locked in Pine to play Ryan, after the studio saw what they had when he played Captain Kirk in Paramount’s relaunch of Star Trek. Pine next stars with Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hardy in the Fox comedy This Means War, and the plan is to put the Jack Ryan film into production by February so Pine can play Ryan and then reprise as Kirk in the Star Trek sequel. Read More »