Fox Revives ‘West Side Story’ For Steven Spielberg As Town Ponders Stacey Snider Move And DreamWorks’ Future

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 9:20am PST
Mike Fleming

ANALYSIS: Even though the Robert Wise original musical West Side Story is WestSideStory2about as sacred a cow movie as you are going to find, Fox has unlocked that movie title for a remake specifically because Steven Spielberg is interested in making it. No writer has been set yet and Spielberg hasn’t done anything more than register his interest, which traditionally has always been enough to get a studio hot and bothered. Between this project and the Fox/DreamWorks team-up Robopocalypse, the Daniel H. Wilson sci-fi novel that has a Drew Goddard script and which Spielberg has said he will direct even though he stepped away to make Lincoln, it would be easy to see Spielberg directing movies at Fox for the next several years if in fact Stacey Snider makes a move to that studio after her contract expires at year’s end.

dworThat’s just part of why the town sees Snider’s move over there as such an easy transition. It is an easier fit than when Jeff Robinov eyed Fox at a landing place but he did not want to report to Jim Gianopulos, who likes calling the shots after sharing power so long with Tom Rothman. Snider is apparently willing to do that and she has a lot of experience to offer managing a studio pipeline, skills that are rusting with DreamWorks’ comparatively small output.

Robinov is now well on his way to finding his money to start a company that will allow him to take big swings at Sony, and I’ve heard that there’s a good chance the bulk of that investment will come from Len Blavatnik, the Ukraine-born billionaire whose worth has been pegged at north of $17 billion. What better way for a man with that kind of money to jump into the perilous Hollywood movie business than with Gravity and Argo architect Robinov and the distribution and marketing might of Sony Pictures?

Related: Is Jeff Robinov Headed To Sony Pictures?

robinoAfter a strong run when DreamWorks was sold to Paramount, a nasty divorce that left behind plum properties like the Transformer series, a near move to Snider’s past home Universal, and the Reliance financing/Disney arrangement which has been stepped down and has hobbled the company, I can easily imagine this finally calling a halt to the great DreamWorks experiment. The one that started with Jeffrey Katzenberg being denied the crown at the Mouse House by Disney’s Michael Eisner, and then joined into building what was to become the next great major studio by his pals Spielberg and David Geffen. I look at the recent crop of DreamWorks films, from the upcoming Need For Speed, the good but disappointing at the box office flop The Fifth Estate and the solid hit The Help, and DreamWorks just seems like an ordinary production company to me. That certainly didn’t have to be the case if the supremely ambitious principals hadn’t made all those deals that disrupted the company and instead stayed a solid course from the beginning and kept building a company on a consistent track. Read More »

Comments 90

Annie Awards: ‘Frozen’ Wins Big Including Best Feature; Miyazaki Gets Best Writing; Spielberg Honored; ‘Futurama’ & ‘Sofia’ Top TV; ‘Get A Horse!’ Best Short

Annie Award WinnersDisney’s Frozen was on fire tonight at the 41st Annie Awards and now is generating real heat for the upcoming Academy Awards. Having made $864.4M worldwide at the box office since its late-November release, the 3D fantasy musical snagged 5 Annies tonight. Frozen won Best Animated Feature, Best Directing for Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Best Music, Production Design and a Voice Acting win for Josh Gad. who also was a presenter. Whether this will translate into Oscar gold remains to be seen. Last year’s big Annie winner, Wreck-It Ralph, which Lee co-wrote, ended up losing the Best Animated Feature Oscar to Pixar’s Brave. However, the 2012 Annie Feature winner Rango did win at the Oscars that year.

“We haven’t even started talking about a sequel yet,” Frozen co-director Jennifer Lee told me before the ceremony started. “We’ve talked about the Broadway musical but not a sequel. No one’s even mentioned it,” said Lee, who just flew in today from a promotional visit to Tokyo.

frozen2With 30 awards handed out and hosted by Patrick Warburton, this year’s Annies from UCLA’s Royce Hall also saw animation trailblazer Hayao Miyazaki take home the Writing in an Animated Feature award for The Wind Rises and Disney’s Mickey Mouse throwback pic Get A Horse! — which played before screenings of Frozen — take the Best Animated Short prize. Steven Spielberg, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo and Star Wars and Jurassic Park effects whiz Phil Tippett were honored with the Annies’ prestigious Winsor McCay for their contribution to the art form. DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods garnered three awards, for Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production, Character Design and Character Animation. The Chris Meledandri-headed Illumination and Universal’s Despicable Me 2 took the Best Animated TV/Broadcast Commercial award.

A recap of Deadline’s live blog of tonight’s show follows the winners list below.

Related:
Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Stays Hot With Sing-Along Version Headed To Theaters
‘Despicable Me 2′ Breaks Records In $80M Home Vid Debut
OSCARS: Best Animation 2013 – Titans Vs. Indies In A Wide Open Race

Toy-Story-of-TerrorThe Halloween special Toy Story of Terror! and Disney Mickey Mouse each won three awards. Best General Audience Animated TV Production and best Writing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production went to Futurama, while Disney’s Sofia The First picked up the category’s Preschool Children award. Industrial Light & Magic’s Pacific Rim team won the Animated Effects in a Live Action Production for their work on Warner Bros and Legendary’s apocalyptic blockbuster.

After a slightly late start, host Warburton kicked off the show by making a joke that he has “no experience as a host” but that the Annies are his favorite awards show. He later said of Royce Hall, “What a terrific venue to have the Annies — or, if you’re Seth MacFarlane, a birthday party.” He added that maybe he shouldn’t have mentioned it because “not everybody here was invited.” Later he said, “We lost Brian the dog on Family Guy this year. That was tragic news for fans of the show. … Tragic news for me would be if I found out Rogaine caused brain cancer.” He added that, “So Seth MacFarlane killed a dog. To me that makes him no better than Michael Vick.” The joke got a big laugh.

Congrats to all who took home an Annie tonight, check out the full list of winners below:

Read More »

Comments (8)

Steven Spielberg To Receive Lincoln Leadership Prize

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:53am PST

spielbergThe Lincoln Leadership Prize, awarded annually by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, honors outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Honorees are described as those who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience, and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Steven Spielberg will receive the award during a dinner March 19 at the Hilton Chicago, presented by Sally Field. ”This is an extraordinary honor. For me, Lincoln’s unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen,” said Spielberg. “I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country.”

Read More »

Comments (0)

Sundance: Steven Spielberg Here To See Jake Paltrow’s ‘Young Ones’ Debut

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 8:29pm PST
Mike Fleming

Isn’t this the week that indie filmmakers take the stage in Park City? paltHours after Christopher Nolan came to accept Slamdance’s Founder’s Award, I’m told  Steven Spielberg just sat down at the Eccles Theater for the premiere of … Read More »

Comments (4)

Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens & Elizabeth Masucci Join TNT’s ‘Public Morals’

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 6:55am PST
Nellie Andreeva

smithlyndon__130307001114-150x150Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens and Elizabeth Masucci are set as series regulars in Ed Burns’ TNT pilot Public Morals, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Written and directed by and starring Burns, Public Morals is set in … Read More »

Comments (0)

TCA: CBS Set Premiere Dates For ‘Extant’ & ‘Under The Dome’

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 9:23am PST
Nellie Andreeva

berryhalleThere will not be a two-hour Steven Spielberg block on CBS next summer as the network scheduled returning Under The Dome and upcoming Extant, both produced by him, on different nights. Last summer’s breakout Dome will return in … Read More »

Comments (1)

Steven Spielberg, Javier Bardem, Steve Zaillian Circle Montezuma-Cortez Epic From Script By Blacklisted Writer Dalton Trumbo

Mike Fleming

Steven SpielbergEXCLUSIVE: One of the most compelling movie questions coming into 2014 is, what film will Steven Spielberg direct? I don’t know if this is next or far down the line, but here is a tantalizing possibility: I’m told that he has his sights on Montezuma, an epic tale of the kinship and ultimately the bloody collision between Montezuma and Cortez as the latter led the Spanish infiltration into Mexico. I’ve heard that Javier Bardem has sparked to playing the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, and that the catalyst here is a nearly 50-year old script by Dalton Trumbo that is being rewritten by Steve Zaillian, who teamed with Spielberg on the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List.

Zaillian is boarding this project as producer, likely alongside Spielberg and his DreamWorks team. The rights are now controlled by DreamWorks, but Zaillian’s first look deal is at Fox and I don’t know if a team-up there is in the works. Zaillian is currently producing the Moses epic Exodus for Fox, with Ridley Scott directing Christian Bale in the lead role.

"Skyfall" Royal World Premiere - ArrivalsThis project could be retitled Cortez, since the viewpoint will be from the latter character to be played by fellow Spaniard Bardem. The project, considered one of the great unmade scripts in moviedom, has an illustrious history. Trumbo wrote it for actor/producer Kirk Douglas, with whom he did the classics Spartacus and Lonely Are the Brave. Trumbo turned in a 205-page draft in 1965, when Martin Ritt was supposed to direct Douglas in the film. It never happened. Read More »

Comments 33

Baz Luhrmann Circling HBO’s Stanley Kubrick-Scripted Napoleon Miniseries For Steven Spielberg

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 2:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Back when he was in France to head the Cannes Film Festival jury, Steven Spielberg dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would turn an un-produced Stanley Kubrick screenplay about Napoleon Bonaparte into a miniseries. Well, … Read More »

Comments 24

Fox Rechristens Its Music Building In Honor Of Composer Lionel Newman

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 8:22pm PST

Steven Spielberg, John Williams and Jim Gianopulos were among the big names attending the dedication of the Lionel Newman Music Building. The building on the Fox lot in Century City has been renamed in honor … Read More »

Comments (2)

Governor Jerry Brown Talks Up California’s Revitalized Economy To Roomful Of Hollywood Heavyweights

Governor Jerry Brown talked about the promise of California and played up the state’s economic comeback during a campaign fundraiser Thursday at Disney Studio boss Alan Horn’s Bel-Air home. … Read More »

Comments (7)

Jeffrey Katzenberg & Steven Spielberg Donate $10M Each To Academy Museum

The donation by the DreamWorks Animation CEO and the Oscar-winning director to the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will see the main lobbies of the facility named after their families. Here’s the Academy‘s release about the gift from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg:

Beverly Hills,

Read More »

Comments (12)

Hillary Clinton Set For Hollywood Fundraiser On October 30

She hasn’t officially thrown her hat in the 2016 Presidential ring but Hillary Clinton is already out there raising money from Hollywood. The former Secretary of State and presumed Democratic candidate is the marquee name for a $15,000-a-ticket fundraiser on October 30 at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, according to an invite that went out this week. Selling tickets individually or for $25,000 a couple, the lunch on the day before Halloween lunch is actually for former DNC chair and longtime Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Governor bid. With that election on November 5, Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton have a number of McAuliffe events scheduled in the next week, and on Monday the DNC sent out a McAuliffe donation solicitation email from Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is lining up Hollywood support if she makes her widely expected 2016 decision to run. Deep-pocket donors like Saban, Peter Chernin, and Jeffrey Katzenberg as well as the likes of Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams have pledged financial support to a Clinton 2016 campaign once it is made official, sources say. Chernin, Katzenberg, Spielberg and Abrams were all hefty financial backers of President Obama, both in the 2012 election and in the lead-up to next year’s mid-terms.

Related:
NBC Kills Its Hillary Clinton Miniseries, RNC Takes Credit
Will ‘Rodham” Affect Hillary Clinton in 2016? Read More »

Comments (7)

Deadline Caption Contest Winner: Clooney Photo-Bombs Spielberg And Seinfeld

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 5:24am PDT

AND THE WINNER IS…
It’s every Jewish person’s nightmare: A huge ham lurking behind you.

Honorable Mentions:
“Wait, doesn’t Steven know Jerry was caught making out during Schindler’s List?”
“Wait, Steven Spielberg? I thought you were Steven Soderberg!!”
“Wait, I’ll convert.”

SUNDAY Read More »

Comments 61

DreamWorks To Redo Japanese Cannes Entry ‘Like Father, Like Son’

Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed exclusively in August that DreamWorks will remake the Japanese film Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru), and for some reason the trades are trumpeting it as a story a month later … Read More »

Comments (1)

Oscars: Another Cannes-Winning Sundance Selects Film Ruled Out Of Foreign Language Race

Pete Hammond

When it comes to this year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar race, it seems Sundance Selects just can’t catch a break. Coming out of Cannes, the company headed by Jonathan Sehring — who also runs IFC — looked like it easily could have two of the five nominees in the category, especially after its acquisitions took two of the top three prizes at Cannes. The French sensation Blue Is The Warmest Color won the coveted Palme d’Or (usually a key factor in considering a film for Oscar submission), while the Jury Prize (essentially third place) went to Japan’s moving and extremely well-received Like Father, Like Son, which so infatuated Cannes Jury President Steven Spielberg that his DreamWorks is negotiating for an English-language remake.

Related: Hammond On Cannes: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’

It seemed at the time that both would be a cinch as their respective countries’ entry in the race, and Sundance Selects was riding high. But as Deadline reported in July, a quirky Academy rule that requires a foreign entry to have opened by September 30 in its country of origin KO’d Warmest Color’s chances, despite Sehring’s best efforts to turn it around. Unfortunately Wild Bunch, the film’s French distributor, was dead set on releasing it October 9, and a qualifying run was ruled out. Now, in what for me is an even more stunning setback, the seven-member Japan Movie Producers Association ignored its country’s high-profile Cannes winner and instead chose a more obscure film, The Great Passage (Fune O Amu) from 30-year-old director Yuya Ishii, the youngest ever to represent Japan in the Oscar contest. That film was released in April — doing nice, if unremarkable, business at the box office. Like Father, Like Son is scheduled for a September 28 release in Japan, a date presumably chosen to make it eligible for the Oscar race.  But it’s not to be. Read More »

Comments (3)

Universal Sets ‘Jurassic World’ Release For June 12, 2015

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 5:50pm PDT

Universal Pictures will release Jurassic World in 3D on June 12, 2015. Steven Spielberg is producing the big-budget dino-sequel, formerly known as Jurassic Park 4. Colin Trevorrow directs from a draft of the screenplay he wrote … Read More »

Comments 36

Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

It may be the last week of summer but Hollywood was buzzing with news from LA to Telluride to Venice, China and in the courts too. Check out this week’s top film stories:

Steven Spielberg’s Cannes Jury Duty Leads DreamWorks To Remake Deal On ‘Like Father, Like Son’
By Mike Fleming Jr – EXCLUSIVE: Who says jury duty is a waste of time? DreamWorks is negotiating right now with Fuji TV for remake rights to the Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru).

R.I.P. Talent Manager J.J. Harris
By Nikki Finke - Motion picture and television talent agent/manager J.J. Harris died of what is believed to be natural causes on Friday afternoon and was found today in her Beverly Hills home by her staff. She was 62

MPAA Wins Hotfile Copyright Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten - Nearly two years and a half years after first filing their suit on behalf of several studios, the MPAA today scored a victory against file-sharing service Hotfile.

Venice Film Festival: Will The Lido Shuffle Biz Into Awards Season?
By Nancy Tartaglione - The Venice Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and with it a renewed second outing for fest chief Alberto Barbera.

Labor Day Box Office: ‘One Direction’ Winning 3-Day Weekend But Will ‘The Butler’ Take 4-Day Holiday?
By Nikki Finke - This is too close to call right now. And film order is up in the air as well. Every Hollywood studio except Sony seems certain that Lee Daniels’ The Butler from The Weinstein Company will threepeat for #1 at the end of the 4-day Labor Day holiday. Read More »

Comments (0)

Steven Spielberg’s Cannes Jury Duty Leads DreamWorks To Remake Deal On ‘Like Father, Like Son’

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Who says jury duty is a waste of time? DreamWorks is negotiating right now with Fuji TV for remake rights to the Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru). The catalyst for the deal: … Read More »

Comments (6)

Deadline’s 10 Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday August 11, 2013 @ 2:03pm PDT

Related: Deadline’s 10 Best TV Stories Of The Week

The fallout from the box office flop of The Lone Ranger continues Read More »

Comments (8)
More Deadline | Hollywood »