EXCLUSIVE: If you are a major agency and you wait for an actor to be discovered before signing him, it’s too late. UTA emerged from a competitive situation to sign Lorenzo Richelmy, who is playing the title character in …
The Weinstein Company has acquired rights to the Sky Italia crime drama series Gomorra, directed by Stefano Sollima (Romanzo Criminale). Marco D’Amore, Fortunato Cerlino, Maria Pia Calzone, Salvatore Esposito, Marco Palvetti star in the series based on Roberto Saviano’s bestselling novel, the inside story of the fierce Neapolitan crime organization Camorra. It tells the story of 30-year-old Ciro (d’Amore), the right hand of the Savastano clan’s godfather Pietro (Cerlino), and the ruthless war to take over “The System”. The series consist of 12 one-hour installments and in addition to Sky Italia is produced by Cattley, Fandango La 7 and Beta Film. Negotiations began at the 2013 Mipcom market. The deal is for the original series and no remake is planned as of now.
The agreement gives the studio opportunities to develop scripted or unscripted “multiplatform projects” from work on any of Gannett‘s TV stations, digital assets, and newspapers including USA Today. The companies will hire a development exec to lead the effort. …
Dimension Television, the TV arm of The Weinstein Co., and Entertainment One Television are teaming up to bring Death In The Modern Age to the small screen. Created and written by Josh Shaffer and Eli Kooris, the original series will be produced by Bob Cooper’s Landscape Entertainment and Michael Fuchs. Death In The Modern Age tells the story of a down-on-his-luck suburbanite who, despite having always played by the rules, faces the implosion of his personal and professional lives in spectacular fashion. He decides to start over and radically reinvent himself by faking his own death. But in today’s age of DNA testing and digital fingerprinting that has all but obliterated the notion of individual anonymity, his escape and ultimate transformation prove to be much easier said than done. “The pilot for Death In The Modern Age blew me away with its original characters and insightful writing. I’m looking forward to working with Landscape and eOne to put together a gripping and original show,” Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company said in a statement.
Bryan Greenberg (How To Make It In America) has signed on to star in Vice alongside Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane and Ambyr Childers. Director Brian A. Miller’s film is set in a futuristic resort where the rich can live out their darkest fantasies and the lifelike staff are actually synthetic beings. Greenberg plays Evan, an extremely intelligent hipster nerd with connections in the hacking community. When Kelly (Childers) escapes from Vice, Evan helps her develop a plan for freedom. The feature is scheduled to start production today in Mobile, AL. Greenberg is repped by Gersh, Ellen Meyer Management and Alan Wertheimer.
Ryan Eggold, who co-stars on NBC’s The Blacklist, has landed a role in Fathers And Daughters, the Gabriele Muccino-directed feature that stars Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul. Eggold plays John, a Wall Street type who had a one-nighter with Katie (Seyfried). When they meet randomly in a restaurant a year later, John is hurt that she doesn’t remember him and gets into a fight with Cameron (Paul) when the guy tries to defend her honor. Eggold, whose upcoming projects include Lucky Them opposite Toni Collette, is repped by Untitled and Gersh.
After all the twists and turns on the Shane Salerno-directed docu Salinger that began with a January 2010 Deadline reveal that the film had been shot, how did the documentary do? The American Masters version totaled 2 million viewers, including repeat broadcasts and DVR viewers. This was strong considering the film had been released by The Weinstein Company and was in the top 10 of the year’s theatrical docus, and that it was viewable on Netflix at that time. The Simon & Schuster companion book written by David Shields and Salerno hit both the New York Times and LA Times bestseller lists. And Salerno more than made back the $2 million he invested to make the film, after he made three 7-figure deals with TWC, S&S and American Masters. It didn’t hurt the Salinger estate either, as Catcher In The Rye hit the bestseller charts again, 62 years after its publication in 1951.
“When combined with the incredible sales figures and national social media conversation, it demonstrates the true impact of public television,” said Stephen Segaller, the WNET programming veep in charge of Salinger. “The fact it was the 200th episode of American Masters makes the accomplishment even sweeter.”
‘Marco Polo’ Crew Mourns Ju Kun; Asst Martial Arts Choreographer Is Among Missing On Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
UPDATE: Netflix and The Weinstein Company have just sent a statement regarding Ju Kun: “We are deeply saddened by the news about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370,” they said in a joint statement. “Ju Kun, who was on board, was an integral part of our production team and a tremendous talent. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
EARLIER: Among the passengers missing and believed to have perished on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is Ju Kun, the veteran martial arts expert and assistant martial arts choreographer on Marco Polo, the Netflix/The Weinstein Company series pilot that is scheduled to begin production in three weeks. The 35-year old stuntman had completed a day of training and choreography and made a quick trip from Pinewood Studios in Malaysia to his home in Beijing, which was why he boarded the flight that disappeared 35,000 feet over Vietnam.
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. Keira Knightley also stars in a film that will be shaped as a major release for the next awards season.
CAA brokered this deal based on a promo reel that had five bidders going after it hard before TWC just took it off the table, with the feeling that it has one of its major Oscar hopefuls for the next race. TWC currently has Philomena in the Best Picture race that will be decided next month.
Compared to the small sales of Sundance, this is a whopper. Harvey and Bob Weinstein and their team headed by COO David Glasser bested five competitors that sparked to a 15-minute compilation of scenes on a picture that has just gone into postproduction. The film also stars Mark Strong and Matthew Goode, and it’s produced by Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman. It was Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures label that took the risk on the film after Warner Bros let it go. The TWC acquisition team of Robert Walak, Negeen Yazdi and Dan Guando chased this script for a year. TWC’s Michal Steinberg closed the deal.
Moviegoers who showed up for the midnight screening of Vampire Academy at a Pacific Theatre in Glendale, CA last night were turned away after buying tickets for the vampire romp — learning upon arrival that the screening was cancelled. …
The cover story of the current New York Times Magazine tells the story of a lobster fisherman who fell overboard in the middle of the night 40 miles offshore and the frenzied efforts to rescue him. Rachael Horovitz, Jason Blum and Harvey Weinstein will produce A Speck In The Sea for The Weinstein Company. Here’s the release:
New York, NY (January 10, 2014) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that they have acquired the film rights to writer Paul Tough’s (HOW CHILDREN SUCCEED) New York Times Magazine article “A Speck in the Sea.” The piece, which ran as the magazine’s cover story last Sunday, will be produced for the screen by Rachael Horovitz (Academy Award® nominated for MONEYBALL and Emmy and Golden Globe Winner for GREY GARDENS) along with Jason Blum and Harvey Weinstein. Bob Weinstein will executive produce the project, with TWC creative executive Julie Oh overseeing development.
The NAACP’s 45th annual Image Awards are set for February 22 and will air live on the East Coast On TVOne and tape-delayed in the West from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The Weinstein Company leads the film noms unveiled today with 17 thanks to three films on the Best Picture list (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Fruitvale Station), followed by 12 Years A Slave distributor Fox Searchlight with seven. Rounding out the best film noms is Universal’s sequel The Best Man Holiday. BET and CBS lead the nominees in the TV categories with 19 and 16, respectively, followed by ABC with 15 and HBO with 13. Here’s the full list of noms — they span TV, film, books and music — which were announced during TVOne’s presentation at the TCA winter press tour in Pasadena: