Catch up on Deadline’s top film stories you missed this week:
James Franco’s Production Company Acquires Book About So-Bad-It’s-Good Cult Movie ‘The Room’
By The Deadline Team – James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned book and life rights to The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the book published last fall by Simon & Schuster from actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell.
BOX OFFICE: ‘Lego’ Blockbuster $69M+; ‘Monuments Men’ Solid Second; ‘Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite
By Anita Busch – The Lego Movie is in the record books as the biggest animated pic opener of all time for Warner Bros., surpassing Happy Feet which opened to $41.5M in 2006 (and went onto gross $384.3M worldwide). It’s also the biggest opener ever for the studio in February.
Universal Closes $1 Million Spec Deal For ‘Mena,’ 80s Drug Tale Ron Howard Will Direct
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures today closed a $1 million spec deal for Mena, a script by Gary Spinelli that has Ron Howard attached to direct.
Berlin Record Deal: Harvey Weinstein Pays $7 Million For Alan Turing WWII Tale ‘The Imitation Game’
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: In what I am told will go down as the highest price paid ever for U.S. rights on a movie at the European Film Market, The Weinstein Company has locked a deal to pay $7 million for The Imitation Game, the Graham Moore Black List script that Morten Tyldum directed with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Read More »
James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned book and life rights to The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the book published last fall by Simon & Schuster from actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell. Franco will direct and co-produce the book adaptation with his Rabbit Bandini partner Vince Jolivette, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Productions. Ryan Moody is writing the script.
Sestero and Tommy Wiseau co-wrote and starred in the 2003 feature film The Room, which some have called the worst movie ever made. Wiseau directed, produced and financed the pic, which was self-released only in Southern California before word-of-mouth spread. It has since achieved cult status for its hole-filled plot and poor production values, earning it a place in the midnight show slots usually occupied by pics like Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Among the Room converts is the CAA-repped Franco, who reviewed the book on Vice in December, calling Wiseau “part vampire, part Hollywood dreamer, part gangster, part Ed Wood, and super lonely” and equating the novel to being a combination of Boogie Nights and The Master and praising it for going beyond being just a bunch of anecdotes from the set of a bad movie. Last month, Franco posted on Instagram that the book was his: ”A new Franco joint, starring both Francos – produced by seth and evan Wazzup now?!”
Here’s the trailer for The Room:
Microbudget oddity Fateful Findings is the latest wannabe cult classic to wade into the waters infested by movies like SyFy’s low-budget phenomenon Sharknado. I can say with certainty it’s one of the most memorably terrible movies I’ve ever lived through. Filmmaker Neil Breen – a Las Vegas-based architect by day who wrote, directed, produced, edited, production designed, and cast himself front and center as the star of the pic to frequently awkward effect – has pacted with NY-based Panorama Entertainment targeting a handful of regional theatrical engagements hoping for hot word of mouth and repeat late-night bookings to propel the film into cult glory. Read More »