Sony Pictures, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Make Movie Deal For ‘Lean In’

Mike Fleming

Lean In EXCLUSIVE: In a deal spearheaded by Sony Pictures production president Hannah Minghella, the studio has made a preemptive acquisition of film rights to Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will to Lead, the 2013 book written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The studio has set Nell Scovell, the veteran TV writer/director, to write the script. Scovell helped Sandberg write the book. The film is not a biography of Sandberg; rather, Scovell will hatch a narrative film from the themes contained within the book. Sandberg will donate her proceeds from the project to her foundation.

While there are some high-risers like Sandberg, the book covered the inequities between how women and men are treated in the workplace and in leadership positions. After analyzing the root causes, Sandberg offered theories and solutions on how women can shed these timeworn shackles and become better empowered in the workplace. It’s the second major movie project from Sony Pictures with a Facebook tie-in, after the studio made the Best Picture nominated David Fincher-directed The Social Network, about founder Mark Zuckerberg and the rocky formation of Facebook. Read More »

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NBC Olympic Coverage Mistakes Jesse Eisenberg For Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

By | Sunday August 12, 2012 @ 4:01pm PDT

Another NBC Olympic gaffe. Cameras for the Numbskull Broadcasting Company spotted actor Jesse Eisenberg sitting in the audience during the USA vs Spain gold medal basketball game. Then a commentator is caught on video identifying The Social Network star as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, adding: “Every executive … Read More »

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Alleged Facebook Co-Creator Appeals Columbia’s ‘Social Network’ Court Win

By | Monday May 14, 2012 @ 12:42pm PDT

Facebook Lawsuit Columbia PicturesDespite a dismissal from a Massachusetts judge, self-proclaimed Facebook co-creator Aaron Greenspan is not giving up his battle against Columbia Pictures and Random House. Greenspan claims he was denied his rightful place in the Facebook saga by being left out of The Social Network and by having his name changed in Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires. Greenspan filed an appeal on May 10 against the studio, the publisher and Mezrich in his copyright infringement, fraud and “defamation by omission” case. The filing comes just a few days before Facebook’s expected $96 billion IPO and a day after Judge Robert Collings dismissed all of the former Harvard student’s claims. The book Accidental Billionaires was the basis for the screenplay Aaron Sorkin wrote for the 2010 Columbia film about the creation of Facebook; Sorkin won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Greenspan has long claimed he came up with “The Face Book” in September 2003, months before his classmate Mark Zuckerberg did. Zuckerberg is not named as a defendant. Read More »

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Jesse Eisenberg Is Leaving ICM For CAA

EXCLUSIVE: Jesse Eisenberg is exiting ICM after more than a dozen years with the agent who helped put him in The Social Network which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. ICM hoped it could hold him, but sources tell me he was … Read More »

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HAMMOND: Telluride Heats Up With Premieres From George Clooney, Glenn Close; Rumors Of Johnny Depp Sightings

Pete Hammond

It was George Clooney 24/7 as the 38th Annual Telluride Film Festival kicked into high gear Friday. Clooney might as well have been running for mayor, if the reaction to his appearance at the Partrons Brunch in the morning was any indication. … Read More »

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Hammond: PGA Doesn’t Follow Oscar Lead

Pete Hammond

Producers Guild’s 2012 Awards Schedule

As the announcement indicates, the PGA is following status quo, not Oscar, which is a bit of a surprise. Despite its close relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, … Read More »

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‘The Social Network’ Wins Big At Golden Trailer Awards

By | Thursday June 30, 2011 @ 3:10pm PDT

Sony’s The Social Network picked up three awards in major categories last night at the Golden Trailer Awards in Los Angeles, then added the Best in Show trophy to its haul. The annual event honors the best of movie promotions. … Read More »

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DreamWorks Enters WikiLeaks Movie Sweepstakes, Buying Two Major Books

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has officially entered the derby to turn the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks into a feature film. The studio has acquired rights to two books by pivotal players in the WikiLeaks drama. DreamWorks has secured screen rights … Read More »

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Hammond At The Oscars & Governors Ball

Pete Hammond

Before I focus on last night’s 83rd Academy Award winners, let me describe my conversations with the “losers”, only some of whom seemed to take the news in stride. Clearly, The Social Network filmmakers were licking their wounds. To the point that hands-on producer … Read More »

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Mike De Luca On ‘The Social Network’ Loss

Mike Fleming

Deadline’s Mike Fleming just caught up to one of The Social Network producers, Mike De Luca, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party: ”We released the movie at the time we felt it was most appropriate, and it performed beyond out expectations. Maybe … Read More »

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Tonight’s 83rd Academy Awards Winners



Nikki Finke’s Annual Oscars Live-Snarking…

Winners of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were announced tonight during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences … Read More »

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Pre-Oscars News: Scott Rudin Stays In NY; Night Before Patrons Compete For iPads; Weinstein Bros Bash Feels Like Old Times

Mike Fleming

Heard at Saturday’s pre-Oscar party circuit: Though he’s the rare producer twice nominated in the same year for Best Picture honors for The Social Network and True Grit, Scott Rudin turned in his tickets for the Academy Awards. I’m told that … Read More »

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HAMMOND: ‘Social Network’ & ‘True Grit’ Win At Guild Awards: What Does It Mean?

Pete Hammond

With The Social Network winning big with Film Editors, and True Grit doing the same across town with the Sound Mixers, Saturday represented the first night in several weekends when the big news was not The King’s Speech. Last night added a little surprise and diversity to an awards season that was … Read More »

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OSCAR: Closest Races Down To The Wire

Pete Hammond

Get those ballots in, stragglers. Forget that many professional pundits and even casual observers of this year’s Oscar race have already called it. (…The King’s Speech wins Best Picture… Best Actor for Colin Firth… Natalie Portman gets Best Actress… The Fighter‘s Christian Bale and … Read More »

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2011 BAFTA Winners: ‘The King’s Speech’ Sweeps 7 Awards Including Best Film; David Fincher, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Tonight Oscar favorite Colin Firth won a second consecutive Lead Actor BAFTA (the British Oscars) at this year’s awards ceremony held at the Royal Opera House in London. He won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts prize for his role in … Read More »

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OSCAR MOGULS: Amy Pascal Q&A

The Deadline Team of Nikki Finke, Pete Hammond, and Mike Fleming have spent recent days interviewing the studio moguls to gauge their perspective on this very close Oscar race:

Sony Pictures Entertainment
17 Nominations: 8 The Social Network, 1 Salt, 1 Country Strong, 1 Animal Kingdom, 1 Another Year, 1 Barney’s Version, 1 Inside Job, 1 In A Better World, 1 Incendies, 1 The Illusionist

DEADLINE’s Nikki Finke: How do you think this awards season has been in terms of quality, quantity, excitement?
AMY PASCAL: My own feelings about it are that this is one of the most exciting times we’ve had in the business for a long time. Because all the movies that we tell ourselves we can’t make — ballets, westerns, dramas, everything that are the hardest things to make — those are the movies that are not only winning awards which is fantastic, but also those movies that are commercial. We won’t see a fascinating season like this for a while.

DEADLINE: What do you think of the competition?
PASCAL: I like all the other movies.

DEADLINE: Well, I’ve had people say to me, ‘Oh, Kings Speech is a great HBO movie’…
PASCAL: Everybody says that stuff.

DEADLINE: If it comes down to The Social Network vs The Kings Speech, why should people vote for your movie over the other movie?
PASCAL: I don’t want to campaign, you know? That’s not my job to say why people should vote for The Social Network and not something else. I think we have a lot of competition. I think the other movies are really good. There are performances in all the movies that are astonishing. There are virtuosos directing them. But Social Network is a different kind of movie. It breaks different kinds of barriers than those movies were trying to do.

DEADLINE: At what point in this project did you get into the process?
PASCAL: Actually, the way that it happened was we had made 21 which had been a project at MGM, and Elizabeth Cantillon had brought that over when she came to be an executive here. And through the relationship that we had with Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey and Ben Mezrich we got an early look at the proposal for the book Ben wanted to write about the origins of Facebook. Scott Rudin was the one who thought Aaron Sorkin should write the screenplay. We all knew Aaron but it was Scott’s relationship with Aaron so he’s the one who contacted him first for sure. We all felt pretty lucky to get Aaron. And Aaron came in with a fantastic take on the material, but at that point Ben hadn’t finished the book.

DEADLINE: Did it occur to you that maybe you should wait and let Ben finish the book?
PASCAL: No, because Aaron and the filmmakers had a very good take on the story they wanted to tell.

DEADLINE: What at that point was your relationship with Scott?
PASCAL: Scott and I had been working together from the 1980s. He was the one who convinced me to be a studio executive for him at Fox. In terms of Sony, when he had his deal at Disney we always kind of had a second look deal with him. But you know Scott has such excellent taste and he makes so many great movies that he and I have always been going back and forth in trying to work together.

DEADLINE: So it’s all coming together and obviously a big concern must have been ‘Oh my
God, we’re writing about this really rich powerful guy. What the hell is going to happen to us?’
PASCAL: Oh, you mean when we were making the movie? Well, here’s what I think the real challenge was. You have to make the main character likeable. They’re allowed to have like one flaw, but they have to be likeable. And what Mark Zuckerberg did to protect the thing that he was building was to do things that he had to do. I never felt he was unlikeable, but definitely Mark Zuckerberg is not your traditional hero. And I think that’s why Jesse Eisenberg’s performance is so wonderful.

DEADLINE: People feel strongest about the Andrew Garfield character, Eduardo Saverin.
PASCAL: Andrew, or Eduardo, is definitely the heart of the story. He’s the emotional character who wants the relationship and is betrayed. But you know what’s so beautiful is when they were making the film, Jesse and Andrew became like best friends. And so they’re so adorable together. You know all of them, Justin Timberlake, Arnie Hammer, they’re like a little gang now.

DEADLINE: People have said to me that if David Fincher doesn’t win best director for The Social Network it’s only because he’s so “unpopular” around Hollywood.
PASCAL: I’ve worked with David a couple of times. We are now on our third movie together. Ever since Panic Room he’s been developing things at our studio and The Social Network was the first thing that came together that we did together. And David is definitely an iconoclast but David expects people to work as hard as he does and he holds people to a standard that he holds himself to. And that’s really the way it works. First of all, I think David has a much bigger heart than people give him credit for. Those of us who know him well know that secret about him. He doesn’t like the marketing process. He doesn’t embrace it. He doesn’t necessarily embrace everything everybody wants him to do. He is very David.

DEADLINE: Someone at Paramount once told me a hilarious anecdote about David and how he refused to bow down to Oprah just to have her publicize his movie Benjamin Buttons. And everybody was saying to him, ‘But this is so important. You don’t understand,’ and he’s like ‘I don’t give a damn about Oprah’.
PASCAL: Right, well I don’t know about that story. But we didn’t have problems like that and David has been a great partner on this movie. And the very difficult thing of course is that as all this awards thing was starting he was already in Sweden shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

DEADLINE: That’s the best thing that could have happened to all of you.
PASCAL: I think it was definitely the best thing that could have happened to him. I think he was very happy to avoid all of the awards campaigning. Here’s the thing about David: he’s very shy. I don’t think he likes getting up in front of people and public speaking.  I think he’s really comfortable on a movie set. I think he is a born director in every sense. And he likes putting forth the people who work with him, not himself. Read More »

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OSCAR: Documentary On ‘Social Network’

Pete Hammond

Sony Pictures is looking for any way to focus attention back on the reasons why The Social Network was the early Best Picture frontrunner for most of the season until it got gobsmacked in the Guild awards by a certain … Read More »

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Scott Rudin Closing LA Office: Is His Move To Sony Imminent?

By | Saturday February 12, 2011 @ 8:42am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Scott Rudin announced to staff Friday that he will shutter his LA office at the end of the month. While Rudin’s decision was based on his desire to centralize his operation from his New York base, speculation … Read More »

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‘The Kings Speech’ & ‘The Social Network’ Still Neck-&-Neck Before British BAFTAs

Sunday’s BAFTA awards — the British equivalent to America’s Oscars — will determine which film is ahead in the UK once and for all. But it’s still a virtual dead heat here between The King’s Speech with 3 honors and The Social Network with 4 even bigger honors at the 31st London … Read More »

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