EXCLUSIVE: In a very quick turnaround, HBO has given a series order to The Brink, its comedy pilot starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, directed by Jay Roach and executive produced by Jerry Weintraub. Written by former Weeds executive producer Roberto Benabib and his brother Kim Benabib, The Brink is an epic dark comedy focusing on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: U.S. Secretary of State Walter Hollander (Robbins); Alex Coppins (Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Callahan (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War III. Aasif Mandvi, Maribeth Monroe, Geoff Pierson, Esai Morales and Eric Ladin co-star on the series, executive produced by Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Roach. Kim Benabib and Susie Ekins co-executive produce.
This marks the first HBO series for Weintraub and Roach, who both have deals with the pay cable network and established relationships there. Weintraub executive produced HBO Films’ Emmy-winning movie Behind The Candelabra, while Roach directed and exec produced the Emmy-winning HBO movies Game Change and Recount.
The Brink’s road to HBO’s primetime started with an email Weintraub received while in Europe, which contained the Benabibs’ script. “I read it and I fell in love with it,” he said. When he came back to Los Angeles, Weintraub had lunch with Roach about a movie project where Roach mentioned that he had been looking to do a half-hour comedy. Weintraub ran to his office and brought Roach The Brink script. Joking that Roach “is famous for taking three years to make up his mind” on anything, Wentraub heard from the director the very next day. “He calls me and he says, ‘I’m in, the script is too good’.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ICM Partners has just signed Tim Robbins, the actor-director who’ll next star with Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Joely Richardson and Josh Gad in Thanks For Sharing (which Roadside Attractions releases September 20) as well as the untitled film based on the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch. He’s also set to return behind the camera directing Man Under. Robbins continues to be managed by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
Robbins had been repped by UTA and this marks a return to ICM for him. The agency — which brokered his deals for such movies as Mystic River, Dead Man Walking and Cradle Will Rock – will not only handle him for acting and directing but also touring for his music.
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K5 International has acquired international rights to Man Under, which will be directed by and star Tim Robbins. Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz co-star in the pic, about a Yonkers family swept up in New York’s art and high society scene after their picture is taken by a photographer whose tragic death raises her profile and that of her subjects. Ann Cherkis (The Secret) wrote the screenplay, and Alexandra Milchan through her EMJAG Prods, Scott Lambert of Film 360, and Aimée Peyronnet of Wild Child Films are producing. K5 is introducing Man Under to EFM buyers at the Berlin Film Festival; UTA Independent Film Group is repping North American rights. Robbins is represented by UTA and 3 Arts, Pfeiffer by CAA and Management 360, and Moretz by WME and 3 Arts.
K5 also has taken worldwide rights to the political thriller The Lion’s Share, to be directed by Nathan Morlando and star Jim Sturgess and Djimon Hounsou. It begins shooting in September and is the story of journalist Aaron Fletcher (Sturgess), who travels to Somalia to secure a career-making interview with highly dangerous pirate Samakab “Kab” Roble (Hounsou). The danger escalates for both men and the interview takes on new stakes as the journalist learns the only way out may be to deliver the head of a man who is both hero and criminal. Morlando and Allison Black co-wrote; Black and Genevieve Hofmeyr are producing. … Read More »
The Berlin Film Festival has rounded out the panel of judges who will hand out Golden and Silver Bears next month. Wong Kar Wai is jury president this year and his The Grandmaster officially opens the festival out of competition on February 7. Joining him on the jury are actor/director Tim Robbins whose Dead Man Walking was a Berlin contender in 1996; Danish director Susanne Bier; German director Andreas Dresen, a Silver Bear winner for Grill Point in 2002; American director and cinematographer Ellen Kuras; Iranian-born director and artist Shirin Neshat and Greek director and producer Athina Rachel Tsangari. Among the titles vying for prizes in Berlin are Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain, Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects, David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche and Bruno Dumont’s Camille Claudel 1915. Coincidentally, Dumont also had a film in the running in Cannes in 2006 when Wong was jury president there, and that picture, Flandres, won the Grand Prize that year. The Berlin fest runs from February 7-17.