BREAKING: Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs has acquired the 2011 Black List script The Current War scripted by Michael Mitnick. Bekmambetov acquired it to direct. He most recently wrapped Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which Fox releases June 22. Mitnick is currently writing the libretto for the Broadway-bound stage musical adaptation of the 1978 film Animal House.
The Current War chronicles the true-life public battle fought between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse for domination of the early power industry. Bazelevs’ President of Development Michele Wolkoff will oversee the project for Bazelevs. The project was brought in to the company by Bazelevs’ creative exec Alan Khamoui. Bazelevs will fund it through its development fund, similar to the way Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter got put together.
Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch will executive produce through Film Rites. Mitnick’s latest play Ed, Downloaded, will premiere at the Denver Center in 2013. His last play, Sex Lives Of Our Parents, was presented by Second Stage Theatre in NYC. Mitnick is repped by WME and Jeff Silver at Fourth Floor Productions. Bekmambetov is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first partnerships of its kind, Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov is teaming with Chinese filmmaker Eva Jin (Sophie’s Revenge) on a Russian/Chinese remake of Yolki (Six Degrees of Celebration). They will be among several filmmakers who’ll … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a whopping deal to acquire screen rights to Unholy Night, the new novel by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith will write the script, and he and KatzSmith partner David Katzenberg will produce with Heyday Films’ David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. I’ve heard that the deal is in the vicinity of $2 million upfront for the rights to the book and for Grahame-Smith to adapt it. The studio got first look at the book, as both KatzSmith and Heyday are based at Warner Bros. That is where Heyman produced the Harry Potter film series and where Grahame-Smith scripted the Tim Burton-directed Dark Shadows. Unholy Night, an action/adventure surrounding the Three Wise Men of the Nativity, will be published in April by Grand Central.
Setting up a film based around the birth of Jesus Christ gives Warner Bros its third high-profile movie based on a seminal religious story. The studio has been discussing the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing Gods And Kings, an epic-sized film about the life of Moses scripted by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. And Warner Bros recently set up a project being scripted by Joe Eszterhas and Mel Gibson (who has first option to direct) about the heroic story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Maccabee’s triumph and struggle against tyranny and oppression where people gave their lives so that others would be free to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a match that seems ideal, Tim Burton is in early talks to come aboard Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment acquired last spring. Burton is in talks to develop the book as a potential directing project, and he would be involved in setting a writer to adapt the tale.
It involves Jacob, a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned remains of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and hallways, he can see the children were more than peculiar, they might have been there because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are still lurking around. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping are producing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: KatzSmith Productions partners David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith have just signed a two-year first-look feature producing deal at Warner Bros. While rights are still being worked out, one of their first projects is expected to be a sequel to … Read More »
Maggie, the John Scott 3-penned spec script about the six-week metamorphosis of a 16-year-old teenage girl into a zombie, is back on the market. The spec was close to a deal with Timur Bekmambetov (I’d heard it closed), but … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Timur Bekmambetov has won a spec auction for Maggie, a script that sparked a spirited auction today, with six bidders. Bekmambetov will produce a film that has a script by John Scott 3, and vfx wiz Henry Hobson set … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired an untitled science fiction thriller pitch that will be written by Brian Miller. He’s the scribe whose writing sample won a contest held by Timur Bekmambetov. That script turned into Apollo 18, the Dimension Films “found footage” pic that opens April 22. Brad Weston will … Read More »
Dimension Films has released a new trailer for Apollo 18, the latest fright film based on “found footage,” this one purporting to be a record of a NASA moon mission that was officially scrapped. Timur Bekmambetov produced it:
For a $200,000 movie, Monsters has created quite a trajectory for its director and star. After Gareth Edwards got the job directing Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, star Scoot McNairy has landed a lead alongside Brad Pitt and a great supporting cast … Read More »
UPDATE: Fox is negotiating with The Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper to play Abe Lincoln’s mentor Henry, the mysterious ageless guy who teaches Abe to kill bloodsuckers. The studio had been in talks with Joaquin Phoenix for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has set Shawn Levy to direct Fantastic Voyage, the James Cameron-produced 3D tent pole film. I’m told that Levy has boarded the re-imagining of the 1966 original about a team of scientists shrunk into a ship … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Joaquin Phoenix is the front-runner to play the mentor who teaches the 16th President how to kill bloodsuckers in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Phoenix has met on the project and I’m told that it’s his … Read More »
Ben Walker has been set by Timur Bekmambetov to play the lead role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the 20th Century Fox adaptation of the Seth Graham-Smith novel that’s being produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Deal was … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: There are few hotter projects in Hollywood right now than Twentieth Century Fox’s macabre3D Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel (he also wrote the script) that will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Timur, Tim Burton, and Jim Lemley. The studio has set a June 22, 2012 release for the film and has been focused on casting since November. Now we can tell you the list of actors who’ll be screentesting for the role of young Abe Lincoln this week and next: Benjamin Walker, James D’Arcy, Adrien Brody, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Josh Lucas. It’s a very interesting mix of semi-knowns and unknowns, stage and screen vets.
Twentieth won the project after a hard fought auction that included Sony and Paramount and Universal and Summit. Bekmambetov and Burton liked it so much they used their own money to option the book earlier this year, and Fox had existing relationships with both filmmakers – Timur dating back to when the studio talent-spotted him in Russia and released his first movie Night Watch worldwide. The movie is a 3D re-imagining of Lincoln’s life that depicts the 16th president as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has closed a high six-figures pitch deal for Alex Litvak & Mike Finch to write an untitled secret project that’s an action thriller set in deep space. I’m told that Timur Bekmambetov is circling the project, though he might well wait until a script is written … Read More »
20th Century Fox didn’t waste time after buying the screen package Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Seth Grahame-Smith novel that will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Timur, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. The studio has set a June 22, 2012 release for the film, which has a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE:After a hard fought auction that included Sony and Paramount and Universal and Summit, Twentieth Century Fox has emerged the victor for the hottest project in Hollywood right now: the live-action adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith macabre … Read More »