EXCLUSIVE: With their long-running vampire series coming to an end this summer, True Blood stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are staying in business with HBO. The duo’s production company CASM has signed a two-year, first-look deal with HBO to develop series, films and miniseries. That may include new starring vehicles for Paquin or Moyer as, in addition to producing, the pact includes options for the two to act and direct. This marks the first foray into television for CASM Films, which Paquin and Moyer launched in 2012 with producing partners Cerise Hallam Larkin and Mark Larkin, who, like the True Blood duo, are a married couple.
True Blood star Stephen Moyer has been cast as the male lead opposite Carrie Underwood in NBC’s December 5 live holiday production of The Sound of Music. The British actor will play decorated World War I hero Capt. Georg von Trapp, a single father of seven children. Living in Austria on the cusp of World War II, the militaristic but warm-hearted von Trapp engages a young governess, Maria (Underwood), who he hires to take care of his children.
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Moyer has joined the cast of Devil’s Knot in a lead role. The True Blood star will play prosecutor John Fogelman in the film about the wrongfully convicted and imprisoned West Memphis 3. He joins Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon Alessandro Nivola and more in the cast and will begin work on the Atom Eyogen-directed film immediately to fit in shooting around his schedule for the HBO vampire series. Devil’s Knot tells the true story of how, despite no psychical evidence, teens Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley were found guilty and jailed for a triple homicide in 1993. They were finally released last year. The movie is based on the 2003 book Devil’s Knot: The True Story Of The West Memphis Three by investigative reporter Mara Leveritt. Moyer is repped by WME and managed by Lubor Roklin Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off co-writing Trance for director Danny Boyle, Joe Ahearne has sold an untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Warner Bros. Dan Lin will produce under his Lin Pictures banner. Lin’s veep Jon Silk came up with an idea they are keeping under wraps and Ahearne expanded it before they pitched it to the studio and came away with a deal. Silk will be co-producer and WB’s Matt Cherniss is overseeing it. It’s the British writer’s second deal with Warner Bros, which recently hired him to rewrite Elf Quest for Rawson Thurber to direct. Thurber wrote the original draft. Ahearne will write Elf Quest and start the new pitch at the same time.
Trance, which stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, is currently in production in London. Boyle will complete the shoot, then put it down to focus on directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He’ll then pick Trance back up and complete the picture. Ahearne, who wrote the feature script with John Hodge, wrote and directed the 2001 BBC telepic that Trance is based on. Ahearne also created the British vampire miniseries Ultraviolet that starred Idris Elba and Stephen Moyer, and Apparitions. He’s repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, as well as UK-based United Agents.
Last month True Blood leading man Stephen Moyer signaled his intent to exit ICM. Now the agency pursuit has ended with the UK-born actor signing with UTA. Besides Season Four of True Blood, Moyer has the indie film The Caller coming out later this year. He continues to be repped by manager Lena Roklin, UK-based agent Dallas Smith, and attorney Dave Feldman.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
PRIEST, based on the Tokyopop-published graphic novel, is brought to you by the folks behind the agreeable B-movie LEGION. While many of the original Manga take place in the past, the movie serves as a sequel, set in a post-apocalyptic world. We’re shown a clip that is “not MPAA approved.” It begins with a dark, BLADE RUNNER-style cityscape. A hooded figure carrying a rosary walks through. It’s Paul Bettany, and he has a red cross tattooed on his face. A vampire attacks – this vampire is like a wild, wet beast, with no eyes, no pigment – think the demons in CONSTANTINE, on the offchance you actually saw that.