Sony Layoffs Hit Interactive Teams; More Coming This Week

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 12:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852__131031103916EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has begun its layoff process that will last through the week. We hear that Sony has cut the entire Sony Pictures Interactive team tasked for the last 15 years with supporting the studio’s digital marketing. I’ve confirmed … Read More »

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Anxiety On Sony Lot As Layoffs Coming Early Next Week

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 10:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852__131031103916EXCLUSIVE: There is anxiety in Culver City today as word gets around on the Sony lot that significant layoffs are coming as soon as Monday. “You wouldn’t be wrong to describe it as a high state of panic over here,” … Read More »

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Dexter Fletcher Out As Director Of Freddie Mercury Pic; Creative Differences Cited

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 1:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

freddieEXCLUSIVE:  It’s back to the drawing board for a director on the untitled movie about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury that Graham King‘s GK Films is making at Sony. King has quietly parted ways with British actor-turned-helmer Dexter Read More »

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Sony, Mark Gordon, Acquire Howard Blum WWII Spy Thriller ‘Death Of A Heart’

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 9:05am PDT
Mike Fleming

howblumBREAKING: Sony Pictures made a pre-emptive deal for Death Of A Heart, an in-progress book by Howard Blum, a true female -driven WWII spy story that is as much a character tale as a suspenseful espionage story. Mark … Read More »

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In New Michael De Luca Deal, Sony Acquires Rights To ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ From ‘World War Z’ Author Max Brooks

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 4:51pm PST

hellfightersHe’s only officially been a Sony exec for less than a week, but Michael De Luca‘s dance card is quickly filling up. Sony Pictures today acquired the rights to World War Z author Max Brooks‘ soon-to-be published graphic novel … Read More »

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Sony Pictures Acquires ‘Grasshopper Jungle’, Coming-Of-Age Tale Mixed With Giant Shag-Happy Insects

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:32pm PST
Mike Fleming

pmanEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures just closed a deal for Grasshopper Jungle, the just-published Dutton YA novel by Andrew Smith. Scott Rosenberg brought in the project and is negotiating to adapt it for producer Matt Tolmach. It’s perhaps best … Read More »

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Chris Boal Signs On To Script Sony’s ‘Zorro’ Reboot

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:44pm PST
Mike Fleming

zoEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is crossing swords with Chris Boal, signing the playwright and scribe to reboot its Zorro franchise. The reboot has been a Sony priority for some time, and the studio has Parkes/MacDonald’s Walter Parkes and Laurie … Read More »

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Screen Gems Takes On Sony PlayStation Vidgame Adaptation ‘The Last Of Us’

Mike Fleming

lastofusEXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has signed on to distribute The Last Of Us, a live-action adaptation of the PlayStation 3 vidgame from Naughty Dog. Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director for the game, will write the script. The creative architects will be Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, as well as Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Straley. They’ll team with Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures banner.

The logline: Hardened survivor Joel teams with young and capable companion Ellie to journey through a radically transformed world some 20 years after an infectious pandemic ravages humanity. The game has won numerous awards and has been a big seller since its release last summer.

Related: Warner Bros Acquires Rights To Video Game Sensation ‘Minecraft’

last“Screen Gems’ Brian Dukes and Eric Ling brought this game to my attention insisting we go after it, and when I saw the quality of the storytelling, I knew the audience for this project was far greater than just the gaming community and that Neil Druckmann must write the screenplay,” Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper said. “I am thrilled that SCEA’s Riley Russell was able to get me in front of Neil and Evan Wells to plead my case. Sam and his team at Ghost House round out the perfect team to help realize Neil’s vision.” Read More »

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Sony Finally Closes ‘Winter’s Knight’ As L. Frank Baum Keeps Racking Up Credits From Grave

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 12:01pm PST
Mike Fleming

tv-scripts-200X2002ND UPDATE, 12:01 PM PT: After much back and forth Saturday involving Sony, Universal and a last-ditch overture from Warner Bros, Sony finally closed its deal for Winter’s Knight, the Viking-mythology-tinged origin story of St. Nick and Christmas. Sony emerged as front-runner when it agreed to pay $1 million to newbie scribes Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, for the biggest spec sale of this year so far. That was the easy part. Deals were then made for producers Marc Platt and Lawrence Grey. More challenging was making a deal with the white hot Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, but that effort was led by incoming Sony-Pictures-logo__130125035333-200x312 (1)Sony Pictures Production President Michael De Luca. His persuasive pitch was that he plans to bring in the next generation of emerging filmmakers, much the way he did at ’90s New Line with the likes of David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson. That, and a precedent-setting mid-seven-figure salary for the directing team, sealed the deal. If Disney can keep to its schedule and get the next Pirates of the Caribbean to set sail before year’s end, the directors will make that after completing the pilot for the Netflix/Weinstein Company series Marco Polo, and Winter’s Knight will come after. Also intriguing is how this movie will lengthen the movie credit resume of L. Frank Baum, best known for The Wizard Of Oz. The subject matter is his 1902 book The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus. Of course, Baum’s work has fallen into public domain, meaning anyone can pillage it for movie ideas. At the rate Baum is going, with all the Oz incarnations and now this work being turned into big money Hollywood films, he might end up spinning in his grave almost as fast as Shakespeare, long Hollywood’s most heavily exploited public domain wordsmith. Read More »

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Sony Pictures Wins Fright Spec ‘The Bringing’; Mystery Revolving Around L.A.’s Cecil Hotel

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 12:34pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Sony Pictures and Matt Tolmach Productions PhillipBrandonMurphyhas acquired The Bringing, a horror spec script written by Brandon and Phillip Murphy and based on an actual place and series of events. The spec’s basis … Read More »

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Sony Sets ’50/50′ Team For Chess Drama ‘Brooklyn Castle; One Of Three Pics For Scott Rudin And Seth Rogen’s Point Grey

Mike Fleming

seth-rogen-evan-goldbergEXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions’ Scott Rudin and Eli Bush and Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver have together set up a trio of feature collaborations. Two of the films are based on documentaries and will … Read More »

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Kevin James, Josh Gad For ‘Pixels’

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 10:59am PST
Mike Fleming

kjamGADEXCLUSIVE: Sony has found its leads for Pixels, the Chris Columbus-directed film. Kevin James and Josh Gad are in early talks to star in the film. Adam Sandler … Read More »

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Sony Sets Date For Jack Black-Starring ‘Goosebumps’

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 10:26am PST

GoosebumpsSony Pictures has set March 23, 2016 as the release date for Goosebumps starring Jack Black. The film, based on the series of books by R.L. Stine, will bow on a Wednesday. Goosebumps is directed by Rob Letterman and … Read More »

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George Clooney & ‘Monuments Men’ Headed For White House

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST

monuments-men__131108120434-575x431President Obama on Tuesday will host cast and crew members of Sony’s The Monuments Men for a screening at the White House. George Clooney, who co-wrote, directed and stars in the pic, will be attending the closed-press evening event, we’re … Read More »

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Dylan Minnette To Star Opposite Jack Black In Sony’s ‘Goosebumps’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 2:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

Dylan MinnetteEXCLUSIVE: Dylan Minnette has been cast as the co-lead in Sony Pictures’ Goosebumps, the adaptation of the iconic Scholastic YA scary book series written by R.L. Stine. Sony nabbed the rights to the books and tapped Black’s Gulliver’s Travels helmer Rob Letterman to direct last March. The pic is loosely based on the series and is scripted by Darren Lemke and gooseMike White. Minnette will play Zach Cooper, who moves with his family move from NY to to the idyllic town of Greendale, MD, where his secretive new neighbor turns out to be author R.L. Stine (Black). When the many, many demons in Stine’s mind are set free by Slappy, a demonic ventriloquist’s dummy, it’s up to Zach and Stine’s niece Hannah (Odeya Rush) to put the evil genies back in the bottle. Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritz are producing. Read More »

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Sony’s Cameron Crowe Movie Gets Christmas 2014 Release Date

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 11:51am PST

"We Bought A Zoo" Premiere - Outside ArrivalsColumbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises have marked out a December 25, 2014 release date for their untitled Cameron Crowe film, which stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John … Read More »

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‘American Hustle’ Cashes In With $200M Worldwide

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 11:56am PST

american hustleDavid O. Russell‘s American Hustle just crossed the $200M for Sony Pictures and Annapurna today. The film which has received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and all four acting categories has a … Read More »

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UPDATE: Sacha Baron Cohen Hails Leo’s ‘Wolf’ Hooker Anus Coke-Snorting In Paramount Re-Up, As ‘Grimsby’ Moves To Sony

Mike Fleming

sachUPDATE, 11:45 AM: Just got a quote from Sacha Baron Cohen on his Paramount re-up. It was delivered in French, but here is the translation:

“Any studio that puts out a movie where Leonardo DiCaprio  snorts cocaine from … Read More »

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Sony Buys Action Thriller Script From Joe Gazzam

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 5:00pm PST
Mike Fleming

JoeGazzamEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has just won a bidding war involving multiple studios for the Joe Gazzam script Shadow Run, an action thriller in the vein of the Bourne movies that will be produced by Original Films and Hernany Perla. The … Read More »

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