Topher Grace has boarded Lionsgate‘s action comedy American Ultra, adding to a cast that already includes Jessie Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Uma Thurman and Walton Goggins. This is the pic Lionsgate scooped up just after Berlin with a $7M pre-buy for U.S. distribution rights, one of the richest deals to come out of the fest this year. Directed by Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) and a script by Chronicle scribe Max Landis, Ultra centers on Eisenberg’s character, a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out. Grace will play a hotshot CIA agent who has recently taken on seniority that has gone to his head, and power-hungry he begin a mission to kill a secret government asset. Grace, repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham, recently wrapped production on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and is shooting Home opposite Patricia Clarkson.
HBO has tapped Topher Grace, Sarah Silverman and Patti Lupone for People In New Jersey, its half-hour comedy pilot written by Bruce Eric Kaplan, directed by Paul Feig and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The project is described as a hilarious, poignant look at life today as seen through the prism of an adult brother and sister (Grace, Silverman) living in New Jersey. Carl Levin (Grace) is an affable locksmith who has a definite idea of how things and people should be and when the world doesn’t conform to his vision, he resists mightily. His sister Melanie (CAA-repped Silverman) is a former management consultant and a closet optimist who now works part-time at a department store. Their opinionated widowed mother Rachel (Lupone) focuses a lot of her energy on worrying about her children and why neither has settled down in a relationship. HBO, Broadway Video and Feigco Entertainment are producing, with Kaplan, Michaels, Andrew Singer and Feig exec producing, Ilene Landress serving as supervising producer and Jessie Henderson and Gina Heyman as producers. Grace, repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and Michael Gendler, is shooting Chris Nolan’s Interstellar.
EXCLUSIVE: Topher Grace is in talks for a supporting role in the Chris Nolan-directed Interstellar for Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. He joins Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine in a film that Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst, with Jordan Goldberg exec producing. Grace most recently starred opposite Susan Sarandon in the Jason Stone-directed The Calling and wrapped the romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing opposite Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan and Aubrey Plaza. Grace is represented by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: The indie thriller will see Susan Sarandon play a small town Canadian detective who investigates the murder of an elderly woman, which leads her to a serial killer driven by a higher calling. Topher Grace is the ambitious police officer recently transferred from Toronto who becomes the detective’s right-hand man. Also aboard are Gil Bellows as a seasoned detective on Sarandon’s team, Donald Sutherland as a priest tapped to help the investigation, Christopher Heyerdahl as the killer, known only as Simon and Ellen Burstyn as Sarandon’s mother.
The Calling was adapted by Scott Abramovitch from Inger Ash Wolfe’s novel and will be directed by Jason Stone (Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse), with production getting underway this week. Christine Vachon of Killer Films is exec producing with Jonathan Bronfman for JoBro Productions. Randy Manis of Manis Films, Nicholas Tabarrok of Darius Films, and Abramovich and Lonny Dubrofsky of Breaking Ball Films are producing. Both actors appear together in Lionsgate’s ensemble The Big Wedding, which is due out April 26. Sarandon, repped by ICM Partners, just wrapped The Last Of Robin Hood starring Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning. She also starred in Arbitrage alongside Richard Gere. Grace, repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, recently finished work on romantic comedy A Many Splintered …
EXCLUSIVE: Topher Grace has signed on to star opposite Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza, and Giovanni Ribisi in A Many Splintered Thing, the Justin Reardon-directed film for McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures. Production begins October 26.
In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. Grace will play the poser’s best friend. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola.
Wonderland initially optioned the Black List screenplay from Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair last year. The screenplay was also a 2011 Nicholl Fellowship Finalist. Wonderland brought the project to Voltage to co-produce and finance, and together they attached Reardon, a commercials director. Voltage Pictures is handling foreign sales on the picture.
Grace most recently starred in Too Big To Fail for HBO, Lionsgate’s The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried and Katherine Heigl, The Giant Mechanical Man and The …
Topher Grade, the That ’70s Show actor from In Good Company and Spider-Man 3, had been repped by WME. He’s presently starring in Lionsgate’s The Big Wedding with Amanda Seyfried and Katherine Heigl and recently wrapped The Giant Mechanical Man and The Double. He is managed by Aleen Keshishian and Scott Wexler of Brillstein Entertainment Partners. His attorney is Michael Gendler.
Lionsgate has acquired U.S. and UK rights to the ensemble comedy The Big Wedding, and has set an Oct. 19, 2012 release for the Nu Image/Millennium Films pic that stars Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton as a long-divorced couple that fakes marriage when the family is reunited for a big wedding. Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes and Topher Grace are in the film, which is shooting in Connecticut. The Bucket List scribe Justin Zackham is directing.
EXCLUSIVE: Topher Grace will star in Gently Down The Stream, which Justin Zackham is directing from his script for Millennium Films/Nu Image. He joins Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Seyfried. Grace will play Jared, the son of the characters played by De Niro and Keaton. He’s a doctor who ends up falling in love with a young Latin woman, awkward since she’s his adopted brother’s sister. The pic begins shooting in July in Connecticut.
Grace will next be seen in HBO’s Too Big To Fail. He also stars in The Double with Richard Gere and The Giant Mechanical Man. WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners made his deal.
EXCLUSIVE: A pre-Cannes domestic distribution deal was closed last night by Image Entertainment for The Double, the Hyde Park/Imagenation thriller that marked the directing debut of Michael Brandt. Brand wrote the script with Derek Haas, his writing partner on such films as Wanted and 3:10 To Yuma. The film was expected to be auctioned during the Cannes Film Festival, but WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Hyde Park’s Ashok Amritraj snuck the picture for domestic distributors Friday night. They went with Image, the recapitalized distributor that is emerging as a player in the revived independent film sector. The deal was over $2 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment for an October rollout. Haas produced it with Amritraj, Patrick Aiello and Andrew Deane.
Image released the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back and the Hilary Swank-starrer The Resident. The Double stars Richard Gere, Topher Grace and Martin Sheen. A retired CIA operative is paired with a young FBI agent to figure out who killed a senator. The clues indicate that he might have been a victim of a Soviet assassin. Amritraj will screen the film in Cannes. Already, Tele Munchen has bought Germany, Aurum has bought Spain and D’Al Angelo has acquired Italian rights. Brandt and Haas are repped by WME, Industry and attorney Adam Kaller.
Relativity Media has released a trailer for Take Me Home Tonight, a coming of age comedy shot in 2007 by Universal Pictures under the title Kids in America. It languished until it was acquired by Relativity and set for March 4 release. Written by That ’70s Show team of Jackie and Jeff Filgo, the Michael Dowse-directed film stars Topher Grace (also a producer), Anna Faris and Dan Fogler.
Jenna Fischer will star in The Giant Mechanical Man, which she will also produce alongside Molly Hassell, Michael Nardelli and Brent Stiefel. Written and directed by Lee Kirk, the film also stars Topher Grace, Chris Messina and Malin Akerman. It’s a romantic comedy about a misunderstood street performer and the zoo worker who falls for him. New Films has acquired worldwide rights to writer-director Christopher B. Landon’s Burning Palms. The film stars Zoe Saldana, Dylan McDermott, Lake Bell, Paz Vega and Rosamund Pike and is a dark comedy featuring five stories set in different Los Angeles neighborhoods … Warner Bros UK has acquired all UK rights to ContentFilm’s medieval action thriller Ironclad. Directed by Jonathan English, the film, about a crew of tough battle warriors who withstood brutal months under siege from King John, stars Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy and Brian Cox … The Media Development Authority of Singapore has teamed with CJ Entertainment, Bang Singapore and Asia Media & Technology Capital (AMTC) for a $50 million slate of films to be produced out of Singapore over five years.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has picked up for development 2 projects from Friends alumni: Brian Buckner’s How the Other Half Hamptons, which is produced by Brett Ratner, and R. Lee Fleming Jr.’s Anthem, produced by Topher Grace. Both are from 20th Century Fox TV. Hamptons, which 20th TV co-produces with Ratner’s RatTV, is part of the hot trend of book adaptations this buying season. It is based Jasmin Rosemberg’s novel, which in turn was inspired by Rosenberg’s New York Post column about her Hamptons share-house experience. In the vein of Animal House, Hamptons revolves around friends Jamie, Rachel and Allison who don’t have the old-school Hamptons money but still want to enjoy the trappings of the Hamptons lifestyle and find the men of their dreams, so they pile into a shared house together. Buckner, who works on HBO’s True Blood, is writing the script and is executive producing with Ratner. This is Ratner’s second sale this development season. He is also executive producing writer Sascha Penn’s drama Unknown at Fox. Ratner and Buckner are with CAA.
Veteran writer-producer Bill Kunstler has sold a comedy project to CBS, which will be produced by CBS TV Studios. Additionally, he has inked a blind script deal at Warner Bros Television with Topher Grace attached to executive produce through his production company Sargent Hall Prods. The CBS project is based on
EXCLUSIVE: I hear a new take on the 1970s comedic action drama CHiPs is in the works at Warner Bros Television. Numbers creators Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton are writing/exec producing, and Topher Grace would exec produce the reboot with his partner at Sargent Hall Prods Gordon Kaywin. Topher will not be starring. Deals are still being finalized, and the project has not been taken out to the networks yet. But I bet it will spark solid interest given the heat that the revamp of another 1970s action procedural, CBS’ new series Hawaii Five-0, has been garnering going into fall.